Romania fire engineA fire engine formerly based at Witheridge has been delivered to a remote part of Romania for use by its volunteer fire crew.

The appliance was used twice within three weeks of its delivery to extinguish serious fires in Carand, Arad County.

The charity Community Action Romania (CAR) purchased the appliance with help from the people at Tidcombe community church, Tiverton. Firefighters from Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service delivered the fire engine and provided training to the volunteer firefighters in Romania.

Firefighter Gelvin Williams, based at Tiverton Fire Station, who has been on a previous charity mission to Romania, was one of the crew who delivered the appliance. He said: “There had been a number of fires in the town and the response from the nearest fire service was more than 50 minutes, leaving devastating effects to the property and the community.

“Our focus was to prepare the volunteer firefighters with fire prevention knowledge and to deal with fires from the outside, not entering the risk area but reducing the risk of property loss and prevent occupants taking life risks to save their own property.

“There are many people and organisations I need to thank for their help, guidance and support, especially my family for their support throughout and allowing me to miss yet another birthday, this time my partner Alison.”

The training took place in 35-degree heat as Gelvin and Adam Edwards, based at Bampton, went through the process of using chimney rods and ladder drills with the help of an interpreter.

Safe Southwest helped provide personal protective equipment for the local volunteer firefighters and Firehawk supplied 300 carbon monoxide alarms for the local community.