This April, five of our Firefighters travelled with colleagues from Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service and East of England Ambulance Service to visit Meru and Chuka, towns in Kenya. This unique opportunity was organised by Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service and gave our staff the chance to share their knowledge, skills, and experience with local emergency service workers.
Invaluable training was provided including:
– Basic fire ground pumping
– Working with ladders
– Rope rescue
– Casualty care
– Emergency response driving
This trip provides essential foundation training for the local fire services in Kenya. It supports their continued development of vital firefighting skills, improves confidence, and reduces firefighter injury, which unfortunately is not uncommon in Kenya.
Training was adapted to suit local resources. For example, fire hydrants, which are abundant in the UK, are practically non-existent in Kenya. Therefore, firefighters tailored their techniques to the local area by pumping water from open sources such as rivers and lakes to ensure the water could cover long distances.
Training sessions progressed to more complex and advanced scenarios, leaving them better equipped to deal with common incidents such as road traffic collisions and building collapses.
Crew Commander Will Tyldesley who took part in the training trip said:
“This trip really demonstrates that firefighting is a worldwide profession. Being able to take our knowledge, skills, and training, and use those to help our colleagues in Kenya was an amazing opportunity, and being able to see first-hand the difference you are making is incredibly rewarding.”
Many fire services in Kenya rely solely on donated equipment from other parts of the world; this year, equipment, PPE, and a fire appliance were donated from the UK. Our firefighters were able to see just how crucial donations are, and how thankfully they are received.