South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority have approved plans to recycle end of life fire appliances by sending them to Serbia for a 'new lease of life'. The three-year programme is a bid to improve the fire and rescue provision of a developing country.

The decision to recycle unwanted appliances rather than scrap them comes as the service is just about to take charge of several new ones. The new models will replace ones which have been used at fire stations throughout South Wales for at least the past 15 years.

Steve Logan, Station Commander at Caerphilly Fire Station, is the driving force behind the project.

He said: "The fire engines that stand to be disposed of are at the end of their working life under British standards. But in developing countries like Serbia, what we consider end of working life, I think they consider is their infancy. Because we have this natural replacement programme, in my opinion, it's criminal to scrap those vehicles and not be able to give them a new lease of life."

Last year, he and his team of firefighters, instructors and station personnel sent a redundant fire appliance and other firefighting equipment, which would otherwise have been scrapped, to Serbia.

The 3,000-mile round trip was made by members of the firefighting team after raising £1,500 for the journey. This year the team, consisting of Service personnel and young firefighters aim to drive the fire appliances to Serbia by raising around £2,500 per appliance.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Huw Jakeway said: "This is an ethical way to use end of life appliances and equipment while supporting developing countries.  It is an ambitious programme that requires a great deal amount of financial support that will need to be raised through sponsorship and local fund raising events. It is great to see young people wanting to make a difference to country so far away."

In conjunction with Blue Stag Media, Cardiff, the team have also developed a brand new website detailing all of the journey details: www.blazingtoserbia.co.uk

 

Posted August 31st, 2011 at 1135 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: andrew.lynch@pavpub.com