digital pressure gauge can cause unintended strain

Donations of Emergency Services gear to the Global South come from all kinds of sources and include a selection of brands of equipment. Donating entities collect whatever they’ll and bundle goods into shipments that ideally match the wants of the recipient. But the somewhat haphazard donations process can end up creating added pressure on the Global South recipient departments. After all, it’s hard enough sustaining a standardized stock of kit. But think about now having a combine of gear, every with barely totally different characteristics and attributes – gear, instruments and vehicles with different manuals if you have them, completely different spare elements whenever you need them, specialist technical help if by some means you will get entry to it regionally, and infrequently instructions that aren’t in the native language of recipient firefighters.
Moreover, I have seen donated gear arrive in recipient nations that is clearly marked as out of service (OOS), unserviceable (U/S), unrepairable, failed and even ‘unsafe–do not use’. Also widespread is broken or incomplete gear; PPE that is torn, still soiled with blood, or without thermal liners; cracked helmets with no face shields or inner shell; SCBA masks with no harnesses or exhalation valves; seized pumps; and, the most typical of all, punctured fire hose.
Donations typically come with written disclaimers from some Global North organizations, absolving them from any guarantee, assure and accountability for accident, harm or mechanical failure after supply. But authorized legal responsibility is hardly the biggest concern of a recipient division seeking to shield its personnel. Clear fit-for-duty conditions should all the time be met by a donation to make sure it serves its intended objective.
Lastly, many donors count on the host country or recipient department to cover some costs – shipping, import duties and flights for volunteers offering training and attending the handover. And while there are good arguments for cost-sharing (including that it encourages accountability on the a part of the recipient), these prices could be substantial for recipients who in lots of instances can’t afford fundamental, new assets. These costs put vital strain on the recipient departments and can result in donations being caught in warehouses for months or years whereas recipients wait for someone to pay taxes and costs to get the tools ‘released’ for use.
Are we encouraging risk?

I have seen many types of tools that require regular, specialist care and statutory management that have arrived within the hands of overseas personnel having failed or exceeded the permissible standards expected within the nation of origin. Used ladders, hoses, pumps, chemical safety fits, medical provides, radiation and gas-monitoring gadgets, traces, lifejackets, vertical rescue gear, etc. all cascade their means down to countries where they are used and trusted by those with less regulatory safety. Firefighters within the Global South are not any less brave than their counterparts in richer countries. The gear they use should nonetheless be protected.
It concerns me – and I truly have seen this within the subject – that some kinds of sophisticated donated equipment often encourage firefighters to sort out emergencies that they don’t have any coaching or capacity to handle. In many circumstances, they expose themselves to far higher risk, as they’ve neither the experience nor the training opportunities that Global North responders have.
Responders in rising markets don’t have the luxury of calling the local power or gas firm to isolate the provision to a property before they enter. They might face stored home gas bottles, unauthorized electrical energy connections, unlawful building requirements, and different hazards that make their operations particularly precarious. But armed with their newly donated gear, they generally assume that they are better protected to enter those risks than before, once they had nothing.
Ask yourself when you would honestly be okay with utilizing donated equipment that has failed certification or handed its usable date in your individual daily emergencies, let alone underneath these circumstances?

Some donor companies that send their personnel to give short-term, primary training problem their very own ‘certificates of attendance and/or competence’. But attendance isn’t the same as mastery. A firefighter receiving a donation is unlikely to ask if the international professional is really certified to teach them about a specific piece of kit. Unless certifications are endorsed or recognized by a real standards agency in the host nation and the instructors have present qualifications and authorized authority to problem them exterior their very own nation, the practice is questionable.
In many ways, skilled steering is even more necessary than the donated gear itself. If we need to forestall donation-driven danger taking by Global South first responders, we want to not solely donate gear that’s match for obligation but in addition assist our donations with certified folks on the bottom, working hand in hand with the local personnel for an appropriate period of time to appropriately information and certify users in operations and upkeep.
Donations ought to drive budget

Finally, donations don’t automatically treatment the tools and training void in emerging markets, and in some cases, they can truly exacerbate the problem. Global South firefighters asking for foreign help are doing so as a end result of their local authorities either lack the required funds or don’t see their needs as a priority. But the reality is that in plenty of nations’ governments, officers often have little understanding of the business. They assume that donated used items are a helpful solution to a budget shortfall. A short-term fix maybe. But in the long run, the aim have to be to motivate governments to handle the real short- and long-term wants of their Emergency Services personnel and actually invest in the development of quality Emergency Services for their international locations. A fast fix may take the stress off briefly, but the essential discussion about long-term financing between departments and their governments needs to be taking place sooner, not later.
In the end, there is no shortcutting high quality. Donations have to be quality equipment, licensed to be used and ideally, where attainable, the same or related brands as these getting used presently by recipients. Equipment wants to return with real coaching from practitioners with current expertise on the gear being received. Recipients must be skilled so the model new tools could make them safer, not create further threat. And donations shouldn’t end a dialog about budget – they need to be a half of a dialog about greater standards and better service that depends on a wide range of new, recycled and donated equipment that actually serves the ever-expanding wants of the global Emergency Services neighborhood.
Please keep an eye out for the fourth and ultimate instalment of this article subsequent month, the place I will illustrate factors to assume about when making a donation, in addition to suggestions to ensure profitable donations you’ll find a way to feel happy with.
Chris Gannon

Chris Gannon has spent 29 years within the trade as a national Fire Chief, authorities advisor, CEO of Gannon Emergency Solutions, and has built a reputation as a pioneer in reviewing and bettering Emergency Services all over the world. For more data, please go to or
GESA (Global Emergency Services Action)

GESA is an international non-profit based in 2020 by leader firms within the Emergency Services sector. GESA is a coalition of corporations, consultants and practitioners working together to change the method forward for the worldwide Emergency Services marketplace. We are currently creating our flagship platform – the GESA Equipment Exchange – a web-based software that may connect Global South departments with producers, consultants, trainers and suppliers to tie donations to a sustainable, longer-term pipeline of sales and service. For extra information, membership inquiries and more, please contact