Donations – An Essential Guide, Part three

Donations can cause unintended strain
Donations of Emergency Services tools to the Global South come from all types of sources and include quite a lot of brands of apparatus. Donating entities acquire whatever they’ll and bundle items into shipments that ideally fit the needs of the recipient. But the considerably haphazard donations process can find yourself creating added stress on the Global South recipient departments. After all, it is onerous sufficient sustaining a standardized inventory of apparatus. But imagine now having a combination of gear, every with barely completely different characteristics and attributes – gear, tools and autos with different manuals in case you have them, completely different spare parts whenever you need them, specialist technical help if somehow you could get entry to it domestically, and infrequently directions that aren’t 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 widespread is broken or incomplete equipment; PPE that’s torn, nonetheless soiled with blood, or with out thermal liners; cracked helmets with no face shields or inner shell; SCBA masks with no harnesses or exhalation valves; seized pumps; and, the commonest of all, punctured fire hose.
Donations usually include written disclaimers from some Global North organizations, absolving them from any guarantee, assure and responsibility for accident, damage or mechanical failure after supply. But authorized legal responsibility is hardly the largest concern of a recipient department seeking to defend its personnel. Clear fit-for-duty situations should at all times be met by a donation to ensure it serves its intended objective.
Lastly, many donors expect the host nation or recipient department to cover some costs – shipping, import duties and flights for volunteers providing training 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 costs may be substantial for recipients who in many circumstances can’t afford primary, new belongings. These costs put vital strain on the recipient departments and can end result in donations being caught in warehouses for months or years while recipients wait for somebody to pay taxes and costs to get the tools ‘released’ to be used.
Are we encouraging risk?
I have seen many forms of gear that require common, specialist care and statutory management that have arrived in the hands of abroad personnel having failed or exceeded the permissible requirements anticipated within the nation of origin. Used ladders, hoses, pumps, chemical safety suits, medical provides, radiation and gas-monitoring units, strains, lifejackets, vertical rescue gear, etc. all cascade their method right down to nations where they are used and trusted by these with less regulatory safety. Firefighters in the Global South are no less courageous than their counterparts in richer nations. The gear they use must still be safe.
It concerns me – and I have seen this within the field – that some kinds of refined donated tools often encourage firefighters to deal with emergencies that they haven’t any coaching or capacity to deal with. In many instances, they expose themselves to far larger danger, as they’ve neither the expertise nor the coaching opportunities that Global North responders have.
Responders in rising markets don’t have the posh of calling the native power or fuel company to isolate the provision to a property before they enter. They might face saved home gasoline bottles, unauthorized electricity connections, unlawful building standards, and different hazards that make their operations especially precarious. But armed with their newly donated tools, they often assume that they’re better protected to enter these risks than before, after they had nothing.
Ask your self if you would honestly be okay with using donated gear that has failed certification or handed its usable date in your personal every day emergencies, not to mention beneath these circumstances?
Some donor companies that ship their personnel to give short-term, primary training problem their very own ‘certificates of attendance and/or competence’. But attendance is not the identical as mastery. A firefighter receiving a donation is unlikely to ask if the international skilled is really certified to teach them a couple of specific piece of apparatus. Unless certifications are endorsed or acknowledged by a genuine standards agency in the host nation and the instructors have current qualifications and legal authority to concern them exterior their own nation, the follow is questionable.
In many ways, professional steering is even more important than the donated gear itself. If we need to stop donation-driven danger taking by Global South first responders, we have to not only donate equipment that is fit for responsibility but also help our donations with qualified folks on the ground, working hand in hand with the local personnel for an acceptable period of time to accurately guide and certify customers in operations and upkeep.
Donations should drive budget
Finally, donations don’t mechanically remedy the tools and training void in emerging markets, and in some cases, they will truly exacerbate the issue. Global South firefighters asking for foreign help are doing so because their native authorities both lack the required funds or don’t see their wants as a precedence. But the truth is that in lots of nations’ governments, officers often have little understanding of the industry. They assume that donated used gadgets are a helpful resolution to a budget shortfall. A short-term fix maybe. But in the long run, the goal must be to motivate governments to handle the actual short- and long-term needs of their Emergency Services personnel and truly spend cash on the event of high quality Emergency Services for his or her countries. A fast repair might take the stress off quickly, but the necessary dialogue about long-term financing between departments and their governments must be occurring sooner, not later.
In pressure gauge น้ำมัน , there is no shortcutting high quality. Donations must be high quality equipment, certified for use and ideally, where attainable, the same or comparable manufacturers as these getting used currently by recipients. Equipment wants to come with real coaching from practitioners with current experience on the gear being obtained. Recipients have to be skilled so the new gear can make them safer, not create additional danger. And donations shouldn’t end a dialog about budget – they should be part of a conversation about greater requirements and higher service that relies on quite a lot of new, recycled and donated gear that really serves the ever-expanding needs of the global Emergency Services group.
Please keep an eye out for the fourth and final instalment of this article subsequent month, where I will illustrate elements to contemplate when making a donation, in addition to suggestions to make sure successful donations you’ll have the ability to 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 constructed a reputation as a pioneer in reviewing and enhancing Emergency Services around the globe. For more info, please visit or
GESA (Global Emergency Services Action)
GESA is an international non-profit based in 2020 by leader corporations within the Emergency Services sector. GESA is a coalition of companies, consultants and practitioners working collectively to change the means forward for the worldwide Emergency Services marketplace. We are currently growing our flagship platform – the GESA Equipment Exchange – a web-based device that can connect Global South departments with manufacturers, consultants, trainers and suppliers to tie donations to a sustainable, longer-term pipeline of sales and repair. For extra data, membership inquiries and more, please contact

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