Donations – An Essential Guide, Part three

Donations can cause unintended strain
Donations of Emergency Services equipment to the Global South come from all kinds of sources and contain quite so much of manufacturers of kit. Donating entities gather no matter they’ll and bundle items into shipments that ideally fit the wants of the recipient. But the considerably haphazard donations course of can find yourself creating added strain on the Global South recipient departments. After all, it is exhausting enough maintaining a standardized stock of kit. But think about now having a mixture of equipment, every with barely totally different traits and attributes – gear, instruments and autos with completely different manuals in case you have them, completely different spare elements whenever you need them, specialist technical support if by some means you can get entry to it domestically, and sometimes instructions that are not in the local language of recipient firefighters.
Moreover, I even have seen donated gear arrive in recipient nations that’s clearly marked as out of service (OOS), unserviceable (U/S), unrepairable, failed and even ‘unsafe–do not use’. Also frequent is damaged or incomplete tools; PPE that is torn, still soiled with blood, or with out thermal liners; cracked helmets with no face shields or internal shell; SCBA masks with no harnesses or exhalation valves; seized pumps; and, the most common of all, punctured fireplace hose.
Donations usually come with written disclaimers from some Global North organizations, absolving them from any warranty, assure and duty for accident, injury or mechanical failure after delivery. But legal legal responsibility is hardly the biggest concern of a recipient division seeking to defend its personnel. Clear fit-for-duty situations should always be met by a donation to ensure it serves its meant objective.
Lastly, many donors expect the host country or recipient division to cover some prices – shipping, import duties and flights for volunteers offering coaching and attending the handover. And while there are good arguments for cost-sharing (including that it encourages accountability on the a part of the recipient), these prices can be substantial for recipients who in plenty of cases can’t afford primary, new assets. These prices put significant pressure on the recipient departments and can result in donations being caught in warehouses for months or years whereas recipients wait for somebody to pay taxes and costs to get the gear ‘released’ to be used.
Are we encouraging risk?
I even have seen many forms of gear that require regular, specialist care and statutory management which have arrived within the palms of overseas personnel having failed or exceeded the permissible standards expected within the country of origin. Used ladders, hoses, pumps, chemical protection fits, medical supplies, radiation and gas-monitoring gadgets, lines, lifejackets, vertical rescue equipment, and so on. all cascade their means down to international locations the place they are used and trusted by those with less regulatory protection. Firefighters within the Global South aren’t any much less brave than their counterparts in richer international locations. The gear they use should still be protected.
It issues me – and I truly have seen this in the area – that some kinds of sophisticated donated equipment usually encourage firefighters to tackle emergencies that they have no training or capability to deal with. In many circumstances, they expose themselves to far higher risk, as they have neither the expertise nor the training alternatives that Global North responders have.
Responders in rising markets don’t have the posh of calling the local power or gas company to isolate the supply to a property before they enter. They would possibly face stored domestic fuel bottles, unauthorized electrical energy connections, unlawful building requirements, and different hazards that make their operations especially precarious. But armed with their newly donated equipment, they generally assume that they are better protected to enter these risks than earlier than, after they had nothing.
Ask yourself should you would actually be okay with using donated equipment that has failed certification or handed its usable date in your own every day emergencies, let alone under these circumstances?
Some donor companies that ship their personnel to provide short-term, primary coaching problem 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 foreign professional is basically certified to show them a few specific piece of apparatus. Unless certifications are endorsed or recognized by a real requirements agency within the host country and the instructors have present qualifications and legal authority to problem them exterior their very own nation, the apply is questionable.
In some ways, skilled guidance is even more essential than the donated equipment itself. If we want to forestall donation-driven danger taking by Global South first responders, we need to not only donate tools that is match for responsibility but additionally help our donations with qualified folks on the bottom, working hand in hand with the local personnel for an applicable period of time to accurately guide and certify users in operations and upkeep.
Donations should drive budget
Finally, donations don’t mechanically treatment the tools and training void in emerging markets, and in some instances, they can really exacerbate the issue. Global South firefighters asking for foreign help are doing so as a end result of their native authorities either lack the necessary funds or don’t see their wants as a precedence. But the reality is that in many nations’ governments, officials often have little understanding of the trade. They assume that donated used objects are a helpful resolution to a price range shortfall. A short-term repair maybe. But in the long run, the goal have to be to encourage governments to handle the real short- and long-term wants of their Emergency Services personnel and actually spend cash on the development of high quality Emergency Services for their countries. A fast fix may take the strain off temporarily, however the essential discussion about long-term financing between departments and their governments must be happening sooner, not later.
In the top, there is not any shortcutting high quality. Donations have to be quality gear, licensed for use and ideally, where possible, the identical or comparable manufacturers as those getting used at present by recipients. Equipment needs to return with actual coaching from practitioners with present expertise on the gear being obtained. Recipients need to be educated so the new gear can make them safer, not create extra risk. And เพรสเชอร์เกจดิจิตอล end a dialog about finances – they need to be part of a dialog about larger requirements and better service that relies on a wide range of new, recycled and donated tools that actually serves the ever-expanding wants of the worldwide Emergency Services neighborhood.
Please keep an eye out for the fourth and ultimate instalment of this article next month, the place I will illustrate elements to think about when making a donation, in addition to recommendations to make sure profitable donations you possibly can really feel pleased with.
Chris Gannon
Chris Gannon has spent 29 years in the business as a national Fire Chief, government advisor, CEO of Gannon Emergency Solutions, and has built a popularity as a pioneer in reviewing and bettering Emergency Services around the world. For extra data, please visit or
GESA (Global Emergency Services Action)
GESA is an international non-profit founded in 2020 by chief corporations within the Emergency Services sector. GESA is a coalition of firms, consultants and practitioners working collectively to vary the future of the worldwide Emergency Services marketplace. We are currently growing our flagship platform – the GESA Equipment Exchange – a web-based software that will join Global South departments with manufacturers, consultants, trainers and suppliers to tie donations to a sustainable, longer-term pipeline of sales and service. For extra information, membership inquiries and extra, please contact