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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2005, 06:46 GMT
Retired fire engines go to Russia
Fire engine
The firefighting equipment can no longer be used in the UK
Four fire engines that have been retired from operational service in the UK are being donated to Russia.

A West Sussex charity set up by retired fire officer Chris Holgate is behind the scheme.

Volunteers will drive the engines from Chichester to Tilbury on Thursday from where they will be shipped to Kursk.

Chief Fire Officer for West Sussex, Martin Burrell, said the equipment could not be used in a modern UK fire service and had little re-sale value.

He said: "We were therefore glad to be able to help the Fire Safety Friends of Russia with their work in Kursk, and are naturally pleased our old equipment will still be used to save lives and improve fire safety standards."

DONATED FIRE EQUIPMENT
1,000 pairs of boots
600 sets of fire tunics and leggings
100 chemical protection suits
Four fire engines including ladders and pumps

Before the charity was set up, children affected by the Chernobyl disaster had become annual visitors to Shoreham Fire Station.

It was during a return visit that Mr Holgate visited Kursk.

He said he saw the poor standard of equipment given to Kursk firefighters and found that an average of 160 people were dying in fires in Kursk each year, many of them children.

He set up Fire Safety Friends of Russia to improve building design, fire fighting equipment, and the treatment of fire victims.

The charity has also raised 8,000 to ship the equipment to Russia.


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