Three members of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) staff are set to travel almost 2,000 miles to donate two 'end of life' fire appliances to Croatian communities.
The donation, which is being made by the Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire Authority, will see Watch Manager Kevin Ruane MBE, Crew Manager Steve Tongue and Firefighter Justin Ward travel through France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Slovenia to deliver the vehicles, before delivering three days of training on how to use the appliances to crews there.
This will also be the first time that a specialist appliance has been amongst the vehicles donated to Croatian crews, with a Rescue Tender being one of the vehicles set to make the trip, along with its specialist rescue equipment on board, which includes hydraulic cutting equipment and winching gear.
The team will also be joined by retired members Grant Smith and Dave Evans, as well as Gareth Lloyd and John Scully from the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) to make the trip to Veliki Bukovec, where the Croatian fire service will receive training on how to use the pumping equipment, how to safely use the 13.5-meter ladder, and how to deal with road traffic collisions.
The donation, which comes one year after the Fire Authority gifted two other fire appliances to Croatian communities, will see the team set off at 5am on Monday 1 May from Highfields Fire Station.
Chair of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Darrell Pulk, said: "It is great that we are able to build relationships in two more Croatian communities who will now be able to benefit from modern equipment and training.
"These two appliances have served Nottinghamshire well for many years, but have now come to the end of their life. I hope that this equipment will help to create safer communities in areas less fortunate."
Watch Manager Kevin Ruane MBE is coordinating the trip on behalf of the Service, and said: "I am really pleased that once again we are able to help our Croatian counterparts by giving them our end of life appliances, which will now get a new lease of life.
"The training on how to use the equipment will be split into three groups. Each of the groups will then train each other on what they have learnt, and while it will be somewhat intense, it is a great opportunity for us to pass on our knowledge and experiences in preparation for the appliances to be in service over in Croatia.
Kevin added that the appliances will then go on to serve both Ludbreg and Veliki Bucovec in Varazdin County once the training is complete.
"Although these appliances have come to the end of their life in the UK, they will be maintained and kept up and running in Croatia, and it is great to know that they are continuing to create safer communities outside of Nottinghamshire," he said.