International firefighting partnership welcomes North Macedonian firefighters to Worthing

North Macedonian firefighters recently travelled over 1,500 miles to visit Worthing Fire Station and learn about the English fire sector and the different ways of working.

During their trip they took part in several exercises which simulated a house fire, animal rescue, water rescue and a rescue from height.

The firefighters were also able to use the aerial ladder platform based at Worthing which has a working height of 32-metres and is often used to extinguish fires in tall and high-rise buildings.

Later on in the trip they also visited Henfield Fire Station and Joint Fire Control.

The trip was organised by Operation Florian – a UK fire and rescue service humanitarian charity that delivers life-saving vehicles, equipment and technical expertise to fire and rescue services around the world.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Station Manager Roy Barraclough also volunteers for Operation Florian and has been involved in many international trips since the charity established in 1995. Speaking of the visit from the North Macedonian firefighters, he said: “As an Operation Florian volunteer I regularly visit my firefighting colleagues in North Macedonia and tell them about what it’s like to work in a UK fire and rescue service, so it was great to have them visit us in the workplace and see our equipment and procedures first hand.

“The approach to fire safety in North Macedonia is much different ours; for example – only last year was a 24/7 emergency dispatch service implemented and the training and equipment available to their firefighters is quite limited.

“Having these opportunities to exchange knowledge and expertise is truly invaluable. The crews will be able to take this learning back home with them apply it to the way they work, which is turn could save lives – and this is the ultimate goal for all fire and rescue service, no matter where in the world they are.”