Operation Florian Delivers Fourth Phase of Project in Bulawayo

Fri 12, Sep, 2014

FIRE AID member Operation Florian delivers the fourth phase of its mission in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, including the delivery of three containers of equipment, seven fire engines and a two week training programme based at the Famona Fire Station.

In May 2014, a team of 15 Operation Florian members and 8 University of Central Lancashire students set off on a mission for Bulawayo, the second largest city in 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.

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 collisions, casualty care and handling, scene approach and safety, glass management and gauge interpretation and other forms of training using the breathing apparatus.

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 Operation Florian, 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

  • An average of 75 students per day over the two weeks

  • 5,884 student hours of training

  • Donation of three containers of equipment

  • Assessment examinations carried out for each course and statistics compiled

  • Consolidation of Phase 3 training subjects

  • Introduction of new training subjects

  • Combined exercises with Police, Railway and emergency organisations

  • Combined firefighter and Officer practical training sessions.

  • Combined Ambulance and Fire practical training sessions.

  • Completed specific Ambulance Training

  • Provided donation of Ambulance equipment and training on its use

  • Provided First Aid training equipment

  • Electronic packages left with participating organisations

  • Increased the IT equipment of Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance Brigade

  • Introduction of AED and 4 on the run on Ambulances.

  • Provision of an additional petrol single cylinder Breathing Apparatusompressor

  • Donated working rig uniform to all staff.

  • Donated a Fire Appliances

  • Improved Technical and Community Fire Safety skills

  • Trained and equipped 5 External Brigades in Breathing Apparatus, Road Traffic Collision, PPE, IT etc

  • Increased the capability of Fire Brigades in the South of Zimbabwe

  • Increased media attention on the improved emergency services

  • Increased public’s perception and expectation of emergency services


    Based at Famona Fire Station, which also houses the Service Headquarters, the intensive two week training programme in Bulawayo covered the following course:-

  • Introduction to Incident Management (2 courses)

  • Train the Trainer

  • Incident Command and related subjects

  • Trauma Life Support (Ambulance personnel (2 courses)

  • Advanced Community Fire Safety

  • Technical Fire Safety

  • Turn Table Ladder Refresher Course

  • Firefighters Practical Course

  • Advanced Fire Investigation

  • External Fire Brigades – Breathing Apparatusand Road Traffic Collision (2 week)

    In the phase 4 other fire services were involve in the project which include those from Victoria Falls Fire Brigade, Kadoma Fire Brigade, Kwekwe Fire Brigade, Zvishavane Fire Brigade. The importance of this partnership with Bulawayo City Council and Operation Florian is represented by fire service personnel from other organisations: Harare Fire Brigade, Chinhoyi Fire Brigade, Mutare Fire Brigade, Masvingo Fire Brigade, Unki Mine – Shurugwi, ZPC Hwange Power Station, Hwange Local Board, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ), and Gwanda Town Council.

    To combine all the learnt skills a major incident training exercise was organised which involved a diesel goods train colliding with a car approximately 30 miles outside of the City of Bulawayo. The incident was treated as a live exercise and involved partner agencies including 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 community to act as casualties to add realism to the exercise.

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