Zimbabwe

On 18th March 2011, 4 members left the UK for Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. The team consisted of Tony Burscough – Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (retired), Colin Devine and Colin Westwood – Grampian Fire and Rescue Service and Bernie Lees – Greater Manchester fire and Rescue Service (retired). They were assisted by Shephard Ndlovu, Senior Lecturer in Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Central Lancashire, who grew up in Bulawayo and started his fire service career with the Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance Service.

This was Operation Florians’ first ever mission in Zimbabwe and was funded by Bulawayo City Council and various UK fundraising activities.

The container of donations, which were delayed in customs, consisted of BA sets, RTC & Fire Fighting Equipment, PPE, Smoke Detectors, first aid equipment, ambulance equipment and a Dennis Fire appliance, which replaced a very old engine that was no longer serviceable.

letter from Harare

Letter from Harare – Click to zoom

Once the equipment was unloaded – it took a whole 20 mins before all the boots were getting a clean and polish!

The team carried out 2 weeks of intensive training that will enable Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance Service to be effective when using their new equipment.

An assessment took place of phase 1’s achievements and plans were then put in place for phase 2.

Success in Bulawayo Zimbabwe Phase 2 Completed

A team of 13 Operation Florian team members left the UK on 15/03/12 and returned on 05/04/12. It proved to be another success and continued the work we started on Phase 1 in April 11.

The main focus this for phase 2’s – 2 week training programme was :-

1) Breathing Apparatus – to consolidate the re-introduction of BA started on Phase 1
2) RTC – consolidate and introduce new techniques
3) Incident Command – Introduction to systems used in the UK
4) Technical Fire Safety – application and interpretation of legislation
5) First Aid – Introduction to basic life saving skills
6) Community Fire Safety – introduction of community based projects

Throughout all subjects, risk assessment based approach was introduced.

On average we had over 80 students per day. They were not only from Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance Service but from services throughout Zimbabwe. This was a new element. There were firefighters from Gwanda, Whange, Gweru, Plumtree and Victoria Falls. A member of the Zimbabwe Army and an Officer from the Civil Aviation Authority. We achieved 5,300 student training hours.

To measure our success we carried out written and oral examinations following each course. At the end of the project we gave out evaluation sheets. The returned forms will assist us in future projects.

The Team with Bulawayo Firefighters

We also donated 2 Volvo appliances and a 20ft container of equipment.

This mission would not have been possible without the following partners:-
Operation Florian
Aberdeen City Council
City of Bulawayo
University of Central Lancashire
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service who donated two Fire Appliances and equipment.
Fire and Rescue Services throughout the UK donated equipment.

This is further enhanced by the elements of support from Aberdeen City supporting their personnel and encouraging the twin town relationship that already exists between them and Bulawayo. We also have a unique element to this mission by the inclusion of undergraduate degree Students from the University of Central Lancashire, in UK who are using the experience towards evidence for their BSc (Hons) Fire Safety and Risk Management degree studies.

The demonstration of this model within this project will hopefully demonstrate that commitment from the partnership, and will also give confidence to others within Zimbabwe of what can be achieved through collaboration.

In principle Phase 3 has been agreed and we are working towards returning in March 13. It is proposed to expand the project next year to have students from all regions of Zimbabwe.

This project would not have been possible without a dedicated and professional team. The team was as follows :-

Anthony Burscough – Project Manager, Operation Florian in Zimbabwe
Michael Doherty – Chairman, Operation Florian
Shephard Ndlovu – Senior Lecturer in Fire Safety Engineering, University of Central Lancashire
Clare Burscough – Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service
Colin Devine – Grampian Fire Rescue Service
Michael MacDonald – Grampian Fire Rescue Service
Ronald Simpson – Grampian Fire Rescue Service
Stewart Gibb – Grampian Fire Rescue Service
Graham Rudman – East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
Luke Bendyk – BSc (Hons) Fire Safety and Risk Management – Year 2
Joseph Jake Dalmedo – BSc (Hons) Fire Safety and Risk Management – Year 2
Jack Dubbey – BSc (Hons) Fire Safety and Risk Management – Year 2
Declan Oliver – FdSc Fire Safety Engineering – Year 2.

Phase 3
On the 18/12/12 Operation Florian transported 4 appliances to Immingham for shipping to Bulawayo Zimbabwe. The intrepid crew set of from Leyland in Lancashire.

The convoy consisted of 2 Volvo’s, 1 Dennis Appliance and a Mercedes Turn Table Ladder. Bernie Lees (Ex GMC retired) lead the group.
From Immingham the appliances were shipped to Antwerp and then on to Walvis Bay in Namibia. This sounds simple enough but in true Florian tradition things do not always go according to plan the shipping vessel suffered major engine failure when in the port of Antwerp. The repair was completed in just over a week and the appliances are once again on the “high sea”. They should arrive on the 01/02/13.

There they will be driven by members of Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance Service over land to Zimbabwe. This is a journey of over 1,000 miles. These appliances have been donated from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Leicester Fire and Rescue Service. Without the support of UK Fire Services we would not be able to do this vital work.

Big thanks to Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service for their support, Bernie and the Guys for driving the appliances.
The training team will fly out on 15/03/13 and return on 04/04/13. At the present time we will be training Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance Service and we have 3 other Fire Services who have agreed funding to take part in the training. A forth service is releasing funds on Friday 01/12/12 and potentially a fifth on 03/12/12. We will be flying out a team of 14 to 15 Operational personnel for the training.

 

Thank you letter from the City of Bulawayo – dated 10th June 2014

Bulawayo letter pg 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulawayo letter pg 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulawayo – Zimbabwe Phase 4  

On the 23/05/14, a team of 15 Operation Florian members set off on a mission for Bulawayo Zimbabwe. This Phase 4 Mission in Bulawayo was the result of the success of Phase 1, 2, and 3 training achievements and the positive effect of the donated equipment and fire appliances. This has resulted in an increase in delivery of service to the large community of Bulawayo. To carry out this training required a team of 15 Operation Florian members and 8 students from University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN). The Operation Florian Phase 4 team consist of the following personnel:-Bulawayo pic1

 

UCLAN Students are as follows:-

 

The students from the University of Central Lancashire were to assist on the mission and in order to develop their experience and individual skills in their respective fields. They were also given the opportunity to assist in the training in their related subjects. They were involved in activities that have tangible impact upon the Fire and Rescues Services organisations in Zimbabwe and the communities they serve. Following the donation of operational equipment and fire engines, the Bulawayo fire fighters are now equipped and trained to deal with road traffic accidents, casualty care and handling, scene approach and safety, glass management and gauge interpretation and other forms of training using the breathing apparatus.

It is hoped that this will be an annual trip and this relationship between UCLan, Operation Florian and other developing countries will continue. This partnership with UCLAN is a continuing venture for the charity and has proved to be very successful for all parties. The students have produced a report of their experiences and how it has developed them for the University. This is a huge commitment by the University. We have upto date had 20 students from UCLAN attend missions in Zimbabwe.   The purpose of the mission was to expand and develop the level of knowledge, techniques and skills started on Phase 1, 2 and 3 for Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance Service following the initial visit in March/April 2011, 2012 and 2013. To enable this development in Phase 4, three containers of equipment and 7 fire engines were donated by the charity, 2 for Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance Service, 2 for Harare Fire Brigade, 2 for Gweru Fire Brigade and 1 for Victoria Falls Fire Brigade.

 

Achievements in 2014

 

Training

The training course commenced on the 26th/05/14, it was based at Famona Fire Station, which also houses the Service Headquarters. The intensive two week training programme in Bulawayo covered the following course:-

Uclanbyo6 (2)

In the phase 4 other fire services were involve in the project which include those from;

 

The importance of this partnership with Bulawayo City Council and Operation Florian is represented by fire service personnel from other organisation, we had delegates from:-

Operation Florian continues to make a difference in Zimbabwe and helps create safer communities.

 

Multi-Agency Major Exercise Trainingbulawayo maj ex bulawayo major ex

On the 4th of June 2014, a major incident training exercise was organised which involved a diesel goods train colliding with a car approximately 30miles outside of the City of Bulawayo. The incident was treated as a live exercise and involved partner agencies, such as, all departments from the Zimbabwe National Railways, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Fire and Ambulance Services. This exercise was designed to test the joint emergency response to a multiple casualty major rail incident in a difficult remote location. University of Central Lancashire students came together with members of the local village community acted as casualties to add the realism to the event and gave the organisations involved a realistic training exercise.

 

Hand Over Ceremony

On the 09/06/14 an official passing out parade and handover ceremony took place at Famona Fire Station, HQ. The event was hosted by Bulawayo City Council and the Mayor, a number of the City Councillors, Heads of departments, CFO’s of local Fire Services and VIP’s attended the function along with members of commerce, industry and the media.  The event started with welcoming speeches. This was followed by a several demonstration drills by the firefighters showing new skills and techniques learnt during the training using the donated equipment.  Closing speeches then followed. The main theme of the speeches was the considered success of the mission by all concerned. There was also genuine willingness and hope that this relationship with Operation Florian would continue and there would be a Phase 5 mission in 2015. This next mission would possibly include specific courses for other Fire Authorities. The number of agreed courses would dictate the size of the Operation Florian team and the number of students from University of Central Lancashire.

 

Conclusion of Mission

A team of 15 Operation Florian personnel including Shephard Ndlovu and 8 students from University of Central Lancashire flew out in May 2014 to Bulawayo to train the Fire Service new techniques as mentioned in this report. There were 5 other fire services which attended the training including officers from other fire services in the region. This has been achieved through the hard work and determination of both the Operation Florian team, UCLAN and Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance Service. New techniques were welcomed and skills evolved. There continues to be a genuine “thirst for knowledge and improvement” within all levels of the organisation. There have been examples of the improvement of the services through the use of donated equipment and the skills needed to use it and the fact that they are focusing on safety, Incident Command and dynamic risk assessment. This project would not have been possible without the support, sponsorship and co operation of the following organisations;

Harare – Zimbabwe Phase 3 – Website

On the 19/08/16, a team of 14 competent trainers and 4 students from University of Central Lancashire set off on a phase 3 mission for Harare, Zimbabwe. To carry out the training programme involved the shipping of 2 containers of equipment based round PPE, BA and RTC, shipment of 4 fire engines (Harare City Council – 2, Chitungwiza City Council – 1, Kwekwe City Council – 1). The courses to be delivered will include;

 

In the phase 3, other fire services were involved in the project from the northern part of Zimbabwe with the aim to improve the fire response capability. The main focus of their training was in Breathing Apparatus and Road Traffic Collision. On completion of the training they will receive a donation of equipment by Operation Florian. These services are: -

 

Achievements in 2016

 

UCLan student, Bethany Grundy said …….”Overall, my Zimbabwe experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’m grateful for and will never forget. It was a privileged to be representing a well-known charity, Operation Florian and representing the University of Central Lancashire. Over such a short period of time, I have come to learn a great deal about the Fire Service, Zimbabwe as a country and most importantly about myself. The major thing that I have adopted from this trip is the pride of helping those that need the help and making a difference to Harare Fire and Ambulance Service and to the community”.

 

 

British Ambassador Meeting

On the 30th of August 2016 Shepherd, CFO of Harare Fire Brigade and Anthony Burscough met the Deputy British Ambassador at number 3 Norfolk Road, Harare to discuss and inform them about the work that the charity is doing in Zimbabwe. They were invited to attend the handover ceremony on the 5th of September 2016. We have now forwarded further information on the work that the charity has been doing in Zimbabwe with the Fire and Ambulance Services since 2011.

 

 

 

Training

The training course commenced on the 17/08/154, was based at Harare Central Fire Station, which also houses the Service Headquarters. The intensive two week training programme covered the following course:-

 

 

UCLan student, Kayleigh Anna Roberts said. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to travel to Harare, Zimbabwe as part of a team that was representing UCLan and Operation Florian as it has been the best experience of my life so far. During this trip I faced so many of my fears and learnt many new things about myself, the fire service both in the UK and Zimbabwe and other cultures. I also made many new friends from the UK and from Harare that I will never forget and hopefully will keep in touch with”.

 

Hand Over Ceremony

A team of 14 Operation Florian personnel and 4 University of Central Lancashire students flew out in August 2016 to Harare to train the Fire Service new techniques as mentioned in this report. This has been achieved through the hard work and determination of both the Operation Florian team, Harare Fire and Ambulance Service, Karoi Town Council, Municipality of Kariba, Mutare City Council, Municipality of Chegutu, Marondera Town Council. New techniques were welcomed and there continues to be a genuine need for continuous improvement within all the organisation. This project would not have been possible without the support, sponsorship and co-operation of the following organisations:

 

 

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