East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is actively demonstrating its passion for the International Fire and Rescue Service with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.
Yesterday (14th March), the fire service signed on the dotted line alongside Operation Florian/FIRE AID regarding arrangements for aid projects.
The charity Operation Florian is a founding member of FIRE AID, an association of UK organisations, with a mutual interest in providing ethical and sustainable donations of fire and rescue aid and training to those in need assistance.
Every year, a large quantity of life-saving equipment in good working condition needs to be responsibly disposed of by the fire and rescue services across the UK. This occurs for a variety of reasons such as updates in technology, changes in risk and health and safety commitments.
However, in sharp contrast firefighters and other emergency services may have to respond to incidents without adequate vehicles, equipment, personnel protection equipment or training.
In direct recognition of this, and via its already successful partnership with Operation Florian, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is ensuring that all of its redundant fire appliances and equipment are, where possible, put to good use.
Firefighters and other expert volunteers sacrifice their own time to drive and deliver the fire appliances and equipment to the destination country, deliver instruction, or provide other skills. Training may include anything from firefighting techniques to road traffic collision response, water rescue, as well as urban search and rescue.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Gary Walsh said:
“Many East Sussex personnel have selflessly volunteered to contribute to projects across the globe, with the full support of the Service. They are able to share their skills to benefit others, as well as contributing to their own personal development.
"The international Fire and Rescue community is very strong and we will always be there to support and help each other. We are in a privileged position in our Service.
“We have the resources to ensure we provide the right equipment to our firefighters, who in turn protect the public. It is only right that we do what we can to make it easier for our fellow fire services overseas to do the same. I am proud of the contribution our staff make in turning this aim into a reality.”
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were privileged to host a group of four firefighters from Moldova at the end of last year. As part of the visit a day of training, demonstrations and experience-sharing took place at Maresfield Training Centre and Weirwood Reservoir.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Steve Apter, said, “We were grateful for this opportunity for a mutual exchange of information and experiences. There is no doubt that we learned just as much from the visit as our guests and I look forward to continuing our relationship with our Moldovan colleagues in the future.”
The next trip which Operation Florian will be embarking on, with the support of East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, will be in April.
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