Northumberland fire service donate appliance to firefighting charity

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service held a ceremony at West Hartford fire station to name a fire appliance they donated to the International Fire and Rescue Association ahead of sending it on to Albania. 

NFRS have worked closely with the International Fire and Rescue Association charity for several years and have donated redundant equipment - everything from helmets to breathing apparatus and hoses to fire appliances - in the knowledge that they would be sent on, with appropriate training, to less fortunate but no less dedicated firefighters around the world; firefighters in countries where the only emergency response is voluntary, and local communities come together to make whatever provision they can for those events that no-one wants to experience.

The fire appliance first came to Northumberland in 2000 and was attached to a whole-time station where it performed its valuable service as a front-line appliance at many significant incidents. In subsequent years it was replaced by a newer vehicle and was consequently attached to successive Retained Duty stations, performing a no less valuable service around the county's rural areas, before spending its latter years as the 'spare' appliance and ultimately with the Community Safety Academy where it helped in the education of young firefighters with the Young Firefighters' Association (YFA) and Princes' Trust.

NFRS donated the appliance to IFRA in 2016 where it has served well as the main training appliance at two international schooling events - month long sessions for South American and Eastern European volunteer firefighters - at the training centre in Thornton, as well as helping raise funds at fairs and events local to Fife in Scotland.

The appliance now follows one of its predecessors which was donated to the fire service in Paraguay, by making its way to Albania, stocked with equipment, for the Albanian volunteer firefighters to use. 

Mark McCarty, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are honored to work with the IFRA and donate our redundant equipment to this valuable resource, providing much needed equipment to less fortunate fire services across the globe. 

“The appliance had a long history within NFRS, serving the community and helping to train our young firefighters, and will continue to help save lives in its new role as part of the Albanian fire service. 

“As is tradition, all appliances are named before sending them to their new owners and we held a ceremony to name this appliance after one of Northumberland’s much missed colleagues Tom Naples who sadly passed away after 38 years of dedicated service.” 

Councillor John Riddle, cabinet member with responsibility for NFRS said: “The IFRA do great work with the less fortunate fire services and communities across the globe and it is great to have the opportunity to donate our redundant equipment knowing that other fire services can use this to serve and protect their communities.”
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