Firefighter Stacey drives 1,800 miles across Europe to deliver fire engines to Serbian colleagues

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The 10-day mission was with The Scottish Emergency Rescue Association (SERA)

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A dedicated firefighter who drove 1,800 miles across Europe to deliver five fire engines to colleagues in Serbia has spoken of her epic mission.

Crew Manager Stacey Hodge left Dunfermline Fire Station and undertook the 10-day mission with the Scottish Emergency Rescue Association (SERA) in May.

And she delivered vital operational training for Serbian firefighters as well as a fire prevention programme in the local schools and colleges.

Stacey, who has been with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for almost a decade, undertook the effort with 13 other SERA team mates.

She is the only woman to have been part of a mission like this from Scotland and has issued a rallying call to encourage other women into the service.

Stacey, 35, based at Glenrothes fire station, said: “It was really important to me to get involved in a project like this. 

“Over the last ten years in the UK there are a lot more female firefighters, but in the whole of Serbia there is only one woman working as a firefighter.

“They couldn’t believe I was driving a fire engine!  They were speechless that I was not only participating in everything but actually teaching them skills too.

“To start with they were not sure of taking instruction from me but I quickly gained their respect and they were a great team to work with.”

The donation will increase the resilience and response available to the Serbian Fire Service with SERA focusing on firefighting and Breathing Apparatus training supporting the UKRO in their RTC training programme.

In addition, they plan to continue work in their Education Programme working in local schools and colleges delivering a fire and road safety message in order to reduce fire and road related deaths and injuries among the young people in Serbia while developing the Moldovan Schools & Colleges Initiative.

Stacey adds: “It’s not just about prevention but also education.  We are starting a project for kids to educate them at a young age on road safety.

“By taking a proactive approach we can educate kids to understand basic road safety rules and stop the deaths from happening in the first place.”

More information on Scottish Emergency Rescue Association here - http://sera.scot/

You can read about a Day in the Life of Fire Service Crew Manager Stacey Hodge in this month’s No1 magazine - https://www.no1magazine.co.uk/

 

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