Argentinian training mission for International Fire and Rescue Association
13 December 2018
By Susan Kerr
A dedicated team of firefighters have returned from a two-week mission – to deliver training to Argentinian colleagues.
Crew Manager Gary Johnstone left his hometown of St Andrews, Fife and undertook the 14-day mission with the International Fire and Rescue Association (IFRA) last month.
Alongside three other colleagues, they delivered vital operational training for Argentinian firefighters – all 285 of them.
Gary, who has been with the International Fire and Rescue Association for almost a decade, undertook the effort with North Lanarkshire Group Manager Sandy Gillespie, retired Fife Group Manager Bert Stewart and retired Fife firefighter Tom Bell.
Based at St Andrews retained fire station Gary said: “The fire service in Argentina is run by volunteers who rely heavily on donations and training to operate effectively.
“A training plan was produced and delivered to the firefighters for road traffic collisions, Incident Command, building fires and breathing apparatus.
“And we also had firefighters visit from neighbouring Uruguay.”
IFRA is a Scottish based charity that has been working for the past sixteen years to assist Emergency Services in countries affected by war/civil unrest or are too resourced challenged to provide a Fire Service of their own.
And to date IFRA has assisted in 21 countries worldwide with 66 training missions, 53 containers of life saving equipment delivered and 92 vehicles donated worldwide.
The charity also donated a full shipping container of fire-fighting equipment – including personal protective equipment, chemical protection suits, First Aid and Line Rescue Equipment to the country.
The donation will increase the resilience and response available to the Argentinian Fire Service.
Gary added: “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 have many sponsors that have supported us in all our endeavours including The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service who have generously donated surplus equipment that is continuing to save lives worldwide.”
For more information on the International Fire and Rescue Association please contact Gary at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the website www.IFRA.co.uk