The formal agreement means that surplus fire equipment from ESFRS and training will be donated to one of the poorest countries in Eastern Europe, Moldova. The fire trucks, cutting equipment including the ‘jaws of life’ and project team made up of firefighters from across the UK will be delivering their precious cargo in Moldova later this year.
Operation Florian Charity director and retired Principal Fire Officer, Bruce Hoad said:
“When we call 999, we expect a modern fire engine with the latest firefighting equipment to arrive, but in Moldova there are large areas without this cover – so the support which fire services like East Sussex have given Operation Florian is vital and will save lives.
Operation Florian won’t just be delivering vehicles and tools but also vital training for firefghters in Moldova to use the equipment safely and efficiently, with the number one aim of reducing the high number of deaths on their roads.
The delivery of this fire equipment which is no longer used in the UK, is a precious gift of life to people in Moldova – where poverty and political turmoil mean that the fire services we take for granted here, are all too scarce over there.”
Currently more than half of Moldovans live on less than £3.50p a day. It is a country squeezed between Romania and Ukraine, heavily impacted by the political tensions in the area as a member of the old Soviet Bloc – as a result, some of the Moldovan Fire Service is still made up of old Soviet trucks with a top speed of just 25mph, averaging 4mpg.
In signing the agreement 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.”
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