EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: A fire engine (fire fighter truck) from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service in the United Kingdom, is being donated to The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services (GFRS) through Watch manager Willy Watson with the hope to add to the country’s rescue efforts to save lives.
The engine was handed to the GFRS authorities at Bakau fire station on Monday, attended by stakeholder and the ministry of interior.
Operational commander of The Gambia Fire and Rescue Service, Samba Jacob Jarju said the donation will address their years of sleeplessness due to the lack of equipment in their rescue service.
He thanked Willy Watson for not only donating the fire fighter truck, but for also funding a two-week training of firefighters in different skills.
Fire disasters have led to the loss of properties and sometimes lives due to inadequate fire fighter engines in Gambia’s rescue services. In October last year, a gas bottling factory in Kanifing was destroyed by a large fire.
The destruction at Hadim Gas Bottling is extensive including vehicles that were parked at the factory forecourt. The fire was said to have happened late at night.
William Waban, Bakau fire station officer said their partnership with Willy Watson started with a friendship between the donor and his wife, leading to mutual understanding.
“I believe that the services done in UK is also done in The Gambia. I believe that the only difference is the lack of equipment and facilities,” Mr Waban said.
Deputy permanent secretary of the minister of interior, Louis Moses, said the support came at the right time when they are finding solution to the lack of firefighting equipment.
Chief fire officer, Sang Colley Ndow, said 2019 and 2020 were progressive years for The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services, after they received three fire tankers and the handing over of an RTA ambulance, a range rover and a lifesaving G.S, last week.
Story written by Isatou Tamba