Scottish charity Blythswood Care has sent six fire engines to Moldova in the latest phase of its 999 Project.
Crossing from Newcastle the six vehicles were accompanied by a team of 18 volunteers – firefighters, driving instructors, mechanics and trauma specialists – to train local fire-crews in the use of their new equipment.
Now in its tenth year, Blythswood’s 999 Project has already delivered 33 fire engines and 10 ambulances to Romania, Serbia and Moldova.
Speaking at the organisation’s headquarters in Evanton, Ross-shire, head of projects Finlay Mackenzie said he was delighted they were able to send a further six machines.
“Two will replace ones delivered eight years ago, which are now worn out with constant use.
“One fire engine which we previously delivered to the town of Nisporeni has been serving a community of 70,000 people scattered over a rural area with challenging road conditions.
“It has done an extreme amount of work. Four are going to new locations.
“We would like to thank the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for donating equipment and also the Fire and Rescue Services of Buckinghamshire and of South Wales.”
Finlay Mackenzie also said that he highly valued Blythswood’s partnership with UKRO which has been training specialists in dealing with Road Traffic Incidents in Serbia and Moldova. “Thanks to UKRO, specialists in Moldova have now been brought to an advanced level, working to an internationally recognised standard,” he said.
He added that several of the volunteers, including team leader Gary Bennett, had accompanied every delivery of vehicles over the past nine years. He said, “These guys show terrific dedication, giving up their holidays to share their skills with others.”