FIRE AID donations provide remote rural medical care in Nepal in response to COVID-19

Mon 26, Oct, 2020

In March 2019 a FIRE AID team, supported by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service delivered equipment and training to remote, rural areas in Nepal to set up ‘pop-up’ fire stations. The idea behind these pop-up stations was to provide communities with some firefighting capability without being overly complicated or unsuitable for the area. Included in this equipment donation were shelters, stretchers, ‘Aqua-box’ disaster relief packs and other medical equipment. This equipment and training is now being used to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in rural communities across Nepal to create medical centres and COVID-19 testing centres.

The Gurkha Welfare Trust has been coordinating the redeployment of this equipment, which has been used to provide remote rural medical care and disaster relief in some of the most inaccessible parts of Nepal. The equipment has been distributed to Gurkha Welfare Trust Area Welfare Centres across the country. During the last monsoon season stocks of FIRE AID donated Aqua-boxes, already in place, were immediately available for disaster relief following annual monsoon landslides. The Gurkha Welfare Trust Area Welfare Centres will be used as strategic response centres where future Aqua-box donations will be stored. These essential donations have been made possible from the support of the Ministry of Defence and Wirksworth Rotarians.

Following the positive feedback from communities and the Gurkha Welfare Trust a further donation of shelters, stretchers and ‘Aqua-box’ disaster relief packs are being shipped to Nepal next week. The FIRE AID team have been unable to return to Nepal this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but plan to return in November 2021 to carry out a number of activities which include; Search and Rescue training for the Nepalese Army, British Gurkhas and municipal fire services and fire safety seminars hosted by the Gurkha Welfare Trust. The team plan to donate further firefighting equipment to Bhaktapur fire station and Sushma Koirala hospital burns unit. FIRE AID would like to thank Project Manager John Monaghan, for his hard work and on-going dedication to this project.