Gambia and Avon Fire Services in Partnership (GAFSIP)

Avon Fire & Rescue Service continue to support Gambia Fire and Rescue Service in a long-standing partnership, Gambia and Avon Fire Services in Partnership (GAFSIP), a charity supported by Avon Fire Authority.

The history of Gambia and Avon Fire Services in Partnership

GAFSIP was the inspiration of former Avon Fire & Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer, David Hutchings, who witnessed a fatal road traffic collision when visiting The Gambia in 1991.

David Hutchings was shocked to see how little equipment the Gambian firefighters had to work with, compared to his colleagues at home, and vowed to make it his mission to help.

Since 1991, the partnership has gained charity status and has helped hundreds of firefighters, their families and communities along the way.

GAFSIP sends vital equipment to Gambia Fire and Rescue Service that are no longer used to help make Gambia a safer place to live and work.

Other fire and rescue services and organisations, such as Bristol Uniforms, have donated items to Gambia Fire and Rescue Service, supported by GAFSIP to help those in need.

GAFSIP today

AF&RS continue to support GAFSIP, with former CFO David Hutchings remaining a patron of the charity.

Equipment from AF&RS, and other organisations and fire and rescue services continues to be donated to GAFSIP, who support the transportation of the goods across to The Gambia to support those in need.

AF&RS host training visits for members of The Gambia Fire and Rescue Service to visit the UK, and travel to The Gambia to facilitate training of new firefighters, on new equipment and upskilling staff on a range of skillsets.

Read more about GAFSIP news and events.


Since 1991, staff from Avon Fire & Rescue Service, and others, have supporting the charity in raising much needed support. Fundraising has included cycling, canoeing and running across The Gambia, driving from Bristol to Banjul in old vehicles, car washes and bake sales. Keep an eye on Avon Fire & Rescue Service website and social media channels to find out how you can get involved.

How can I help? 

All donations directly benefit the lives of people in The Gambia. You can make a donation by writing a cheque to: GAFSIP, and sending it to:

The Finance Manager: GAFSIP
Police & Fire Headquarters
PO Box 37
Valley Road, Portishead
BS20 8JJ

Get in touch

If you, your company or organisation would like to get involved, contact the team via email.

For media enquiries, please contact Avon Fire & Rescue Service Press Team.

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