Eight donated fire engines set sail to The Gambia

Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) have donated emergency vehicles and vital safety equipment to The Gambia Fire and Rescue Service through the charity partnership Gambia and Avon Fire Services in Partnership (GAFSIP).

On the 30th anniversary of the charity’s inception, seven fire appliances from AF&RS, and a water bowser from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, have set off on their journey to The Gambia.

The vehicles, retired from duty in the UK, remain fully serviceable and provide life saving equipment to communities in The Gambia.

Following the anticipated arrival of the equipment, representatives from AF&RS including Chief Fire Officer Mick Crennell, Assistance Chief Fire Officer Simon Shilton, Trustee Paul Kirk and a range of firefighters and corporate staff, will visit The Gambia later this year to provide valuable training and support to our extended firefighting family in The Gambia.

Paul Kirk, GASFIP Trustee, said: “We are delighted to be supporting our extended firefighting family in the Gambia once again. It’s been 30 years since Dave Hutchings, the patron of the charity, first visited the Gambia and had the idea to set up GAFSIP.

“We’ve made huge strides since then and I’m really pleased to see a further eight vehicles donated, as well as huge amounts of equipment to the Gambia. I look forward to visiting later this year to provide training to the firefighters and see our retired fire engines provide much needed safety equipment to those in need.”

GAFSIP is a Charitable Trust for a collaborative venture which has been in existence since 1991 between Avon Fire and Rescue Service and The Gambia Fire and Rescue Service.

The role of GAFSIP is to coordinate and facilitate the shipping of donated fire appliances, vehicles and equipment, together with educational materials and spare parts as the need arises, as well as facilitating regular training visits.

If you would like to find out more about the charity please visit - http://gafsip.org/.  You can also follow the Charity’s activity on Twitter by following @GAFSIP2 or on Facebook – www.facebook.com/GAFSIP