Page last updated at 09:14 GMT, Friday, 14 August 2009 10:14 UK

Scots fire engines go to Moldova

Fife engine
Four fire engines and two ambulances are being sent to Moldova

Charity volunteers from Scotland are to deliver emergency vehicles to a former Soviet republic to help boost the country's ailing emergency services.

Blythswood Care will provide four fire engines and two ambulances to Moldova in a scheme backed by First Minister Alex Salmond.

A team of 16 volunteers will drive the vehicles and stay for a week to teach local people how to use the equipment.

The vehicles are second-hand and no longer used in Scotland.

It will cost about £15,000 to transport the equipment, including oxygen cylinders, trauma kits and ladders.

Volunteers will set out on their 1,500-mile journey from Rosyth on Thursday and are expected to reach Moldova the following Sunday.

Humanitarian effort

Speaking before the charity launch in Uphall, West Lothian, Mr Salmond said: "Scotland is well served by courageous and dedicated firefighters and I'm well aware of the strong bond that exists between them and their professional counterparts across the world.

"However, while we are able to equip Scottish crews with the most modern, up-to-date fleet of appliances, elsewhere in the world communities can struggle to provide a single fire tender to cover large sections of their population.

"Blythswood Care performs great work both in Scotland and abroad and I wish the charity well in its latest humanitarian effort, which can help save lives and protect communities in Moldova."

Blythswood has already transported vehicles to Serbia in 2007 and 2008.

Gary Bennett, the team leader, said: "We will be delivering these vehicles to a town where the majority of people have no sanitation or running water.

"The local firemen work with a 1950s water carrier, filing the tank from a well.

"We will be able to supply them with vehicles and with up to date equipment."

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