Donations – An Essential Guide, Part 3

Donations may cause unintended strain
Donations of Emergency Services gear to the Global South come from all kinds of sources and comprise a big selection of brands of equipment. Donating entities acquire whatever they can and bundle goods into shipments that ideally match the needs of the recipient. But the somewhat haphazard donations course of can end up creating added strain on the Global South recipient departments. After all, it’s onerous enough sustaining a standardized inventory of apparatus. But think about now having a mixture of tools, each with barely completely different characteristics and attributes – gear, instruments and autos with completely different manuals if you have them, completely different spare elements when you need them, specialist technical support if somehow you can get access to it locally, and infrequently directions that aren’t within the local language of recipient firefighters.
Moreover, I really have seen donated gear arrive in recipient international locations that is clearly marked as out of service (OOS), unserviceable (U/S), unrepairable, failed and even ‘unsafe–do not use’. Also common is broken or incomplete equipment; PPE that is torn, still soiled with blood, or without thermal liners; cracked helmets with no face shields or internal shell; SCBA masks with no harnesses or exhalation valves; seized pumps; and, the commonest of all, punctured hearth hose.
Donations typically include written disclaimers from some Global North organizations, absolving them from any guarantee, assure and accountability for accident, damage or mechanical failure after delivery. But authorized liability is hardly the most important concern of a recipient division trying to defend its personnel. Clear fit-for-duty situations ought to all the time be met by a donation to ensure it serves its supposed objective.
Lastly, many donors anticipate the host nation or recipient department to cowl some prices – delivery, import duties and flights for volunteers offering training and attending the handover. And whereas there are good arguments for cost-sharing (including that it encourages accountability on the part of the recipient), these prices may be substantial for recipients who in plenty of instances can’t afford primary, new assets. These costs put important pressure on the recipient departments and can lead to donations being stuck in warehouses for months or years while recipients wait for someone to pay taxes and costs to get the tools ‘released’ for use.
Are we encouraging risk?
I have seen many kinds of gear that require regular, specialist care and statutory control which have arrived within the hands of overseas personnel having failed or exceeded the permissible requirements anticipated in the nation of origin. Used ladders, hoses, pumps, chemical protection suits, medical provides, radiation and gas-monitoring gadgets, traces, lifejackets, vertical rescue equipment, etc. all cascade their means right down to international locations where they’re used and trusted by those with less regulatory protection. Firefighters in the Global South aren’t any much less brave than their counterparts in richer countries. The gear they use should nonetheless be safe.
It issues me – and I even have seen this in the subject – that some kinds of refined donated tools typically encourage firefighters to sort out emergencies that they don’t have any coaching or capability to handle. In many instances, they expose themselves to far greater risk, as they’ve neither the experience nor the training alternatives that Global North responders have.
Responders in rising markets don’t have the posh of calling the native energy or gas company to isolate the provision to a property earlier than they enter. They might face stored domestic fuel bottles, unauthorized electrical energy connections, illegal building standards, and other hazards that make their operations especially precarious. But armed with their newly donated equipment, they often assume that they are higher protected to enter those risks than before, once they had nothing.
Ask yourself should you would truthfully be okay with utilizing donated equipment that has failed certification or passed its usable date in your personal day by day emergencies, not to mention under these circumstances?
Some donor businesses that send their personnel to provide short-term, primary coaching concern their very own ‘certificates of attendance and/or competence’. But attendance is not the same as mastery. A firefighter receiving a donation is unlikely to ask if the overseas professional is actually qualified to teach them a few particular piece of apparatus. Unless certifications are endorsed or acknowledged by a genuine standards company in the host nation and the instructors have present qualifications and authorized authority to issue them outside their very own nation, the apply is questionable.
In some ways, professional steerage is even more important than the donated equipment itself. If we wish to prevent donation-driven danger taking by Global South first responders, we have to not solely donate tools that’s fit for obligation but also support our donations with certified individuals on the bottom, working hand in hand with the native personnel for an applicable period of time to accurately guide and certify users in operations and maintenance.
Donations ought to drive finances
Finally, donations do not automatically treatment the equipment and training void in rising markets, and in some circumstances, they can actually exacerbate the problem. Global South firefighters asking for international assist are doing so as a end result of their native authorities both lack the required funds or don’t see their wants as a precedence. But the reality is that in many nations’ governments, officers typically have little understanding of the business. They assume that donated used items are a helpful answer to a price range shortfall. A short-term repair maybe. But in the long run, the aim have to be to motivate governments to address the real short- and long-term wants of their Emergency Services personnel and actually spend money on the event of high quality Emergency Services for their international locations. A fast fix could take the stress off temporarily, however the essential discussion about long-term financing between departments and their governments needs to be taking place sooner, not later.
In the top, there is no shortcutting quality. Donations need to be quality tools, certified for use and ideally, the place possible, the same or similar brands as those being used currently by recipients. Equipment needs to come with actual coaching from practitioners with current experience on the gear being acquired. Recipients must be educated so the brand new equipment can make them safer, not create extra danger. And donations shouldn’t finish a dialog about budget – they need to be a part of a conversation about larger standards and higher service that depends on a variety of new, recycled and donated equipment that really serves the ever-expanding needs of the worldwide Emergency Services community.
Please keep an eye fixed out for the fourth and ultimate instalment of this article next month, where I will illustrate elements to consider when making a donation, as well as suggestions to ensure profitable donations you probably can really feel happy with.
Chris Gannon
Chris Gannon has spent 29 years in the business as a nationwide Fire Chief, authorities advisor, CEO of Gannon Emergency Solutions, and has built a popularity as a pioneer in reviewing and bettering Emergency Services around the globe. For more data, please go to or
เกจวัดแรงดันแก๊สco2 (Global Emergency Services Action)
GESA is a world non-profit based in 2020 by leader firms within the Emergency Services sector. GESA is a coalition of companies, consultants and practitioners working together to vary the means forward for the global Emergency Services marketplace. We are currently growing our flagship platform – the GESA Equipment Exchange – a web-based tool that will join Global South departments with producers, consultants, trainers and suppliers to tie donations to a sustainable, longer-term pipeline of gross sales and service. For more info, membership inquiries and extra, please contact

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