A team of staff from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service will be making a trip to Croatia later this month where they will be donating two of the service’s ‘end of life’ fire engines to firefighters there.
The venture, which comes a year after the service donated two other fire engines to the communities in Croatia and Nepal, will also see the team deliver training to the Croatian crews on how to use the new equipment.
In total the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, NFRS, team making the trip, which is made up of watch managers Kevin Ruane MBE, Wayne Henson, John McEvoy and firefighter Georgina Bellingham, will be travelling almost 1,200 miles with the fire appliances to Mali Bukovec.
The NFRS staff – who are all volunteering their own time - will also be joined on their journey by retired fire and rescue service trainers, Grant Smith and Dave Evans, and will be setting off from Newark Fire Station at 5am on Thursday, May 26. They will then be returning to the UK on Tuesday, May 31.
Watch manager Kevin Ruane said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the fire and rescue authority has once again allowed us to take these two fire engines over to Croatia where they will be given a really important second life.”
“When we get over there we will not only be donating the fire engines, but we will also be giving the fire crews there some advanced training and hopefully the learning and equipment that they will be able to take from our trip will help to keep the people of Croatia as safe as possible.”
The decision to donate the two fire appliances to the Croatian community was made by the Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue authority’s policy and strategy committee.
Councillor Darrell Pulk, chair of the authority, said: “We are really pleased to be gifting another two fire engines to two different communities in Croatia that are far less fortunate than us.
“Here in the UK we are fortunate enough to have access to the very best equipment and also the very best training, however sadly this isn’t the case for firefighters in some other countries that aren’t actually that far away from us.
“These two appliances have served us well for many years and helped us to create safer communities here in Nottinghamshire. I hope that they will now be used to create safer communities in Croatia.”
On their journey, the team will be travelling through Belgium, Germany, Austria and Slovenia before arriving at their destination.
Once the team have returned to Nottinghamshire one of the donated fire engines will remain in Mali Bukovec and serve the community there, while the other will be taken to a place called Martijanec and be used by firefighters there.
Both these areas are covered by volunteer firefighters that cover 15 different villages with a total population of approximately 5,700 – their current fire appliances are now over 35 years old.