The FIA Foundation has joined the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in supporting the ‘FIRE AID’ initiative – an association of UK organisations delivering firefighting and rescue equipment and training in road crash response, fire safety and many other disciplines to middle- and low-income countries.
A key concern for FIRE AID is the limited capacity to respond to road traffic collisions in many countries whose emergency services respond to incidents with little or inadequate equipment and limited rescue and trauma training – the essentials to save saveable lives. In Ukraine, for example, 78% of road casualties die at the scene of a crash, compared to less than one-third in the UK. Both fire and rescue training and equipment are inadequate.
Projects are carried out throughout the world by FIRE AID members including in Russia, Tajikistan, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Macedonia, Ukraine, Kenya, Moldova, Malawi, Ghana, Chile, Serbia, and Romania addressing a range of issues including road crash response, firefighting, disaster preparedness, water rescue, trauma care, community safety, multi-agency working, fire safety in refugee camps and many other areas.
Saul Billingsley, Director General of the FIA Foundation, said: “FIRE AID is a practical and cost-effective way to transfer equipment and expertise from the UK to countries with serious road traffic injury problems and limited resources. It addresses the important area of post-crash care – pillar 5 of the Decade of Action Global Plan – and the critical need to ensure early and skilled intervention to rescue crash victims. So the FIA Foundation is pleased to join the UK Department for International Development and others in supporting FIRE AID. It is part of our wider support for road safety in the region, working through EASST, which is demonstrating how a partnership approach can successfully address issues of governance, catalyse legislation on seat belts and speed, support and improve police enforcement strategies and promote safer road design to protect all road users, and particularly pedestrians and children.”