devonsomersetA Torquay fire officer has been highly commended at the Asian Fire Service Association Personal Fair and Diverse Awards for his charitable work in Nepal.

Station Manager John Monaghan was nominated in the Positive Change category at the prestigious national awards held last month (26 Nov).

Since 2009, John has been co-ordinating ongoing support for the fire service in Kathmandu, Nepal. The assistance includes the delivery of donated fire appliances and equipment and providing the training for Nepalese firefighters to use them effectively.

SM Monaghan said: “I am very pleased to receive this commendation. The conditions for firefighters in Nepal are very difficult compared to those in the UK. They are often expected to fight fires with no protective equipment at all and no water to fight the flames.

“They are incredibly brave and anything we can do to improve their safety will help them to keep the communities they serve safer.”

Other work carried out during the visits include fitting a water pump and repairs to an orphanage, donations of food, clothes, toys and bedding, funding for children’s operations, and educational support for children leaving the orphanage.

Since the devastating earthquake in Nepal earlier this year, nearly 2,000 Aquabox safe drinking water kits, community water pumps and filters, and protective equipment have been delivered.

Another visit is scheduled for spring 2016 and future projects could include funding a combined school and health facility in two earthquake-hit areas, expanded fire-related training and the delivery of additional fire vehicles and equipment.

Find out more about the Asian Fire Service Association at www.afsa.co.uk/