BULAWAYO City Council has received four fire engines and equipment, worth more than $1 million from Operation Florian.

Speaking during a handover ceremony organized by the Bulawayo City Council on Monday evening, Mayor Thaba Moyo said the visit by the team was laudable. “This is a very noble gesture from our brothers as this donation is an indication of the growing partnership we have established with the fire and humanitarian aid organisation over the years. We are proud that we have not only improved our fire and rescue services but this partnership has significantly increased the level of emergency preparedness by the city’s fire and rescue services”.

It is not the first time the charity has donated to the city, as in the past years, they have also donated a fire tender and fire-fighting equipment worth more than $2 million.

The donations as well as visits by the team were organized by Mr. Shepherd Ndlovu (35), who was a fireman in Bulawayo between 1994 and 1997 and is now a senior lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. Yesterday, Operation Florian Project Manager, Tony Burscough, led BCC fire-fighters who are undergoing training through drills at the Famona Fire Station.

Mr Burscough said as much as they were assisting with training, they were also learning from the city of Bulawayo as the local authority had upped its fire awareness activities.

“In as much as this is a follow-up to our previous visits which have been successful as we work with the University of Central Lancashire; as an organization we are prepared to assist the city with skills and this is a continuation process where we have an exchange of ideas. We are committed to Zimbabwe until our mission of seeing Bulawayo grow to a world class emergency centre is realised,” he said.

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Speaking also during the handover ceremony, Bulawayo City Council Chamber secretary, Mrs Sikhangele Zhou, said the council has since written to the ministry of local government to be allowed to employ more people in their quest to be of better service to the city’s residents.

“We really applaud the noble gesture by our friends, however we are set to write an application to the ministry of local government to allow us to employ more people, so that we can be in a position to thoroughly execute our duties and maybe expand our wings even more,” she said.
To date the city council has received eight water tenders, four portable pumps, and one turntable ladder, four containers of various fire rescue and ambulance and protective equipment.

Speaking on this, the Mayor of Bulawayo said the City of Bulawayo was also donating some of the equipment they received to other neighbouring cities and towns. “Under this year’s mission, the city of Bulawayo will also be handing over various pieces of equipment to the fire and ambulance services in five towns, in the country. This equipment will include breathing apparatus, equipment for road traffic accidents, firefighting and information technology among others,” he said.

The towns that are receiving the above equipment’s are, Gwanda, Gweru, Plumtree, Victoria Falls and Zvishavane.