Bath firefighter shares his knowledge with Macedonian counterparts
A firefighter from Bath has put 30 of his Macedonian counterparts through their paces as part of a specialist training programme.
The idea is they are trained up to instructor level so they can return to their own country and pass on their new skills to others.
Avon Fire and Rescue organised the initiative, which involved the use of breathing apparatus, responding to road traffic collisions and urban search and rescue (USAR) techniques.
It took place under the banner of Operation Florian, an international humanitarian charity which provides fire training and equipment to the world's poorest regions.
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Firefighter Rob Davis, pictured, from Batheaston, has been involved with the charity since 1998 and heard about the plea for help in Macedonia.
He said: "Ten of the Macedonians are training as USAR technicians with the aim of creating some USAR hubs, as they are prone to earthquakes and the like, and the aim is to provide a more resilient response to potential future earthquakes within Macedonia and its neighbour countries.
"When the former Yugo- slavia broke up, the national fire service that had been controlled from Belgrade dissolved, and has basically had to be built up from scratch again.
"We are hoping to bring another group of Macedonians over next year if we can, so that three USAR hubs can be created to protect not only Macedonia, but possibly assist the United Nations and their neighbouring countries at times when USAR expertise could be invaluable."
For more information on Operation Florian go to www.operationflorian.com.