19 February 2010

A delegation of Palestinian firefighters will be visiting Northamptonshire County Council’s fire and rescue service next week (Monday 22nd February).

The seven captains from the Palestinian Civil Defense, which is the national equivalent of fire and rescue services in the UK, are visiting as part of Operation Florian, a firefighting humanitarian charity to out more about the role of fire and rescue services in the UK

During their visit they will take part in practical exercises such as road traffic collision extrication training and search and rescue training.

They will also be visiting local fire stations as well as learning about governance arrangements and how UK fire and rescue services work in partnership with other organisations and local communities.

Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member for customers and communities said: “I am immensely proud of Northamptonshire’s fire and rescue service; the work carried out by everyone within the service makes a huge difference to people living and working in the county and I am pleased to be able to share our experience and expertise with our visitors from the Palestinian Civil Defense.”

Martyn Emberson, Chief Fire Officer said: “We are really pleased to have the opportunity to develop links with our overseas partners. This is an excellent opportunity for firefighters from both countries to share their experiences and specialist skills. A team of firefighters from Northamptonshire will be working closely with the visitors, sharing their specialist knowledge and demonstrating some of the service’s equipment and appliances.

“Whilst there are skills which all firefighters require regardless of where they work, we are looking forward to sharing our own experience of operating a fire service in the UK as well as learning from our Palestinian visitors.”

The group will be visiting the region for two weeks from 10th to 24th February, with representative spending time with both Northamptonshire fire and rescue service and colleagues in Lincolnshire.

Additional information:

Operation Florian is UK Fire Service humanitarian charity which works to promote the protection of life amongst communities in need, worldwide, through the provision of equipment and training to improve fighting and rescue capabilities. It is named after the patron saint of firefighters.