FIRE AID welcomes delegates from the Chisinau and Tiraspol fire service for intensive training in the UK
In May 2018, funded through the Conflict Stability and Security Fund and facilitated by the UK Embassy in Moldova, FIRE AID welcomed eight delegates from both sides of the river Nistru to the UK. The delegates from Chisinau and Tiraspol came together for one week to complete a joint training programme provided by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
The delegates received a warm welcome from UK fire fighters who have volunteered over the past five years to support both fire services through training and delivering equipment – including 21 fully operational fire appliances. Fire fighters from West Sussex, Kent, Surrey and East Sussex have built both professional relationships and lasting friendships over the years of working together.
The delegates headed to London on their first day to meet fire fighters from the London Fire Brigade. They had a once in a lifetime chance to take a ride down the Thames on the LFB fireboat, where they learnt about water rescue how the boat is used to respond to incidents.
During their time in the UK the team were also visited by HE Lucy Joyce, UK Ambassador to Moldova and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Chief Officer, Dawn Whittaker who spoke with the delegates about their training so far. Dawn Whittaker commented on the visit “It’s sometimes easy to take for granted the standard of equipment, PPE and training we have in the UK, but talking to our visitors today, they have challenges that are difficult to comprehend, but their dedication, professionalism shines through.”
The training course, which has been organised by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and supported by their Chief Officer, Dawn Whittaker, is a great opportunity for the delegates to gather information on how a UK Fire and Rescue Service training centre operates, with the intention of acquiring an understanding of what a modern fire training facility is able to provide so that they can develop and implement some of this into their own services. The course also provides an insight into fire science, demonstrating the dangers of back draft when tackling a fire as well as urban search and rescue through training on how to work effectively in confined spaces.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Station Commander, Dave Thurston said: “They are enthused by our procedures, which will enable them to take back best practice with them, new development and knowledge around realistic incident training, as well as the structure of the Service. The other thing they have been taking on board is our health and safety culture. This year, we took all of East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service de-commissioned Draeger sets and fully trained them on breathing apparatus procedures. Their level of firefighter safety has now significantly improved, along with public safety.”