Member Spotlight: Operation Sabre
One of FIRE AID’s newest members, Operation Sabre, has carried out several successful visits to Mures County, delivering to date, 22 equipped firefighting vehicles and over 2,000 sets of firefighting uniform, together with appropriate training
One of FIRE AID’s newest members is Operation Sabre whose aim is to support the most vulnerable in Transylvania, be this through the donation of fire engines, uniforms and rescue equipment or through humanitarian aid to the young and old alike.
For over ten years staff from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service have undertaken numerous humanitarian aid activities in countries throughout Eastern Europe. In 2012 these activities eventually focused on supporting communities in Mures County, Transylvania, leading to the formation of a small independent charity – Operation Sabre. The charity has expanded its membership to around twenty and now draws upon volunteers from Shropshire and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services. The charity’s vision is to assist in shaping the future of Transylvania, by preserving and protecting its communities and heritage from the effects of fire and other emergencies. In doing so, public benefit is achieved through the sharing of knowledge, expertise, equipment and resources to advance the understanding of fire protection, prevention and emergency response arrangements.
Today, in the UK, the number of citizens who die each year through fire is 1 person per 300,000. In Romania, the level is threefold greater, at 3 persons per 300,000. Operation Sabre cannot change this statistic overnight but the expertise and experience that its members can bring to Mures County offers real benefits and opportunities to improve fire safety arrangements. Through the provision of modern UK fire engines, equipment, uniform and moreover training and education, Mures firefighters are better equipped to perform their duties.
Working in close partnership with Inspectoratul pentru Situații de Urgență Horea (Mures County Fire and Rescue Service) and the Mihai Eminescu Trust, Operation Sabre has carried out several successful visits to Mures County, delivering to date, 22 equipped firefighting vehicles and over 2,000 sets of firefighting uniform, together with appropriate training (nine of these vehicles were delivered during 2015/16). Under the guidance and direction of the Chief Inspector Dorin Oltean1 of Mures County Fire and Rescue Service, these vehicles have been strategically sited throughout Mures County and neighbouring communities to provide vital fire protection and response provision in remote villages and towns. In many instances this has led to the creation of new fire stations by local communities, which in some circumstances has overcome what was previously a 45-60 minute wait for the nearest Mures fire engine to attend.
The members of Operation Sabre are also committed to supporting, through other means, the most vulnerable in Mures County. To this end, the charity has adopted an Old Persons Home in Sighisoara and twice yearly visits the home to deliver aid and undertake painting and decorating activities, alongside Mures firefighters. The charity has supported two children’s orphanages in Dacia and Rupea, and more recently, adopted a Child Protection Unit in Targu Mures. As with the Old Peoples Home, Operation Sabre plans to redecorate the Child Protection Unit, in addition to the aid provided to residents.
“Operation Sabre is a great asset to Mures County by increasing the fire protection for all people in our county and also helping the ones in need.”
Dr Lucian Goga, President Mures County