The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is supporting a charity as it helps train Romanian firefighters.
Operation Florian, which is a UK based charity, is supported locally by both full time and retained members of the Island’s Fire and Rescue Service. The charity works to promote the protection of life through the provision of equipment and training for the improvement of fire and rescue capability amongst worldwide communities in need.
As part of a project to support colleagues in Romania, the Isle of Man branch of Operation Florian invited Romanian firefighters Sorin Lupsea, Ionut Barani and Alin Chereji to receive fire fighting and road traffic collision extrication training from the Island’s Fire and Rescue Service. The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company sponsored their travel from Belfast to the Isle of Man and the Isle of Man to Dublin.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive, Mark Woodward, said: “We are delighted to be able to show our support for such a worthwhile charity. A Fire and Rescue Service for every community is vital and invaluable. This training is essential and will hopefully save many lives and much property in Romania, which would otherwise be lost.”
Community Safety Officer Danny Dooley and retired Station Officer John Boyde from Laxey met their colleagues in Ireland.
Training for the local firefighters included areas such as driving and pump operation, ladder work, breathing apparatus techniques and procedures for dealing with road traffic collisions and other non-fire emergencies.
Danny Dooley said: “The firefighters in Romania are determined to help their villages but they don’t have the necessary training. We know this project is going to make a big difference to their lives and the lives of their neighbours.”
Operation Florian is run purely by volunteers and any members of the Fire and Rescue Services can help. Funds for the charity are made up from donations and other fund raising events.
At present, the rural districts of Romania have no local response capability and many fires and incidents result in either the loss of lives or homes because the City services, even if they had sufficient equipment and manpower, cannot reach the area in time. Approximately two years ago the Romanian Government recognised there was a need to set up rural services and gave this responsibility to the Mayor of each region. However, no funding for uniform, equipment or training has been provided and each region is struggling to provide even the most basic of services.