International Fire and Rescue Association (IFRA) sends its 30th container to Paraguay

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The container holds vital equipment that will help Paraguay volunteers


International Fire and Rescue Association (IFRA) sent its 30th container full of vital life-saving equipment to Paraguay, South America yesterday(29 July).

As well as basic firefighting uniforms and hoses, the container also contained road accident extrication equipment and breathing apparatus as well as more specialised equipment such as a mass decontamination unit in case of a chemical or biological incident. 

IFRA chairman David Kay OBE said: ”The Fire service in Paraguay is run by volunteers who rely heavily on donations such as these to operate effectively. In this country you telephone 999 and get a speedy response from a well trained professional and well equipped fire service.  In Paraguay, when you telephone the emergency services, although the volunteers have lots of enthusiasm, the reality is they have very few fire engines and equipment and lack basic training. The equipment in this container will equip many of the City Brigades we are assisting through the Junta Nacional (the National Board of Firefighters).

“The vital equipment we are sending is redundant equipment no longer in use in this country but still safe to use. It will go a long way to making the job of the volunteers easier and safer and also to help save lives in the country. We are very grateful to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for donating this equipment and continuing to support IFRA.” 

The charity, based in Dunfermline, has sent 75 Fire appliances and ambulances to 19 countries, 30 containers to four continents and has also completed  49 training missions.

Once the container arrives, a team of firefighters will be sent to carry out training with the firefighters in The Junta Nacional. This is part of an ongoing programme of assistance with the Paraguayan Fire Service.

Our photo shows: 

Front L-R - Lord Lieutenant of Fife Mrs Margaret Dean CVO and her husband, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Peter Murray, Local Senior Officer for Fife Iain Vincent, His Excellency the Paraguayan Ambassador Mr Miguel Solano-Lopez and IFRA Chair David Kay OBE.

Back L-R – Group Manager Bert Stewart and Station Manager Mark Bryce with members of IFRA and Blue Watch Dunfermline.

Photo by David Wardle