Donations – An Essential Guide, Part 3

Donations can cause unintended pressure
Donations of Emergency Services equipment to the Global South come from all kinds of sources and comprise quite so much of manufacturers of apparatus. Donating entities collect no matter they’ll and bundle items into shipments that ideally match the wants of the recipient. But the somewhat haphazard donations course of can find yourself creating added stress on the Global South recipient departments. After all, it’s exhausting enough sustaining a standardized stock of kit. But think about now having a combination of tools, every with slightly different characteristics and attributes – gear, tools and autos with totally different manuals in case you have them, totally different spare elements whenever you need them, specialist technical assist if by some means you can get access to it domestically, and infrequently directions that are not in the native language of recipient firefighters.
Moreover, I really have seen donated gear arrive in recipient international locations 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 gear; PPE that is torn, still dirty with blood, or without thermal liners; cracked helmets with no face shields or inside shell; SCBA masks with no harnesses or exhalation valves; seized pumps; and, the most common of all, punctured fire hose.
Donations usually come with written disclaimers from some Global North organizations, absolving them from any guarantee, assure and responsibility for accident, injury or mechanical failure after supply. But legal liability is hardly the biggest concern of a recipient department seeking 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 count on the host country or recipient division to cover some prices – delivery, 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 part of the recipient), these costs may be substantial for recipients who in many cases can’t afford fundamental, new property. These prices put significant strain on the recipient departments and can lead to donations being caught in warehouses for months or years whereas recipients wait for somebody to pay taxes and costs to get the equipment ‘released’ for use.
Are we encouraging risk?
I really have seen many forms of tools that require common, specialist care and statutory control that have arrived in the palms of abroad personnel having failed or exceeded the permissible requirements expected in the country of origin. Used ladders, hoses, pumps, chemical protection fits, medical supplies, radiation and gas-monitoring gadgets, lines, lifejackets, vertical rescue gear, and so forth. all cascade their method all the way down to countries the place they’re used and trusted by these with much less regulatory safety. Firefighters within the Global South are no less courageous than their counterparts in richer countries. The gear they use should still be protected.
เกจวัดแรงกด me – and I have seen this in the field – that some kinds of refined donated equipment often encourage firefighters to tackle emergencies that they haven’t any coaching or capacity to handle. In many instances, they expose themselves to far higher threat, as they’ve neither the experience nor the coaching opportunities 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 would possibly face saved home fuel bottles, unauthorized electricity connections, unlawful building requirements, and other hazards that make their operations especially precarious. But armed with their newly donated gear, they sometimes assume that they’re better protected to enter those dangers than earlier than, after they had nothing.
Ask yourself if you would truthfully be okay with utilizing donated gear that has failed certification or passed its usable date in your own every day emergencies, not to mention under these circumstances?
Some donor companies that send their personnel to give short-term, primary training problem their 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 basically certified to teach them a couple of particular piece of kit. Unless certifications are endorsed or recognized by a real requirements company in the host country and the instructors have current qualifications and legal authority to issue them outdoors their very own country, the apply is questionable.
In many ways, skilled guidance is even more necessary than the donated gear itself. If we want to forestall donation-driven threat taking by Global South first responders, we have to not solely donate equipment that’s match for duty but additionally help our donations with certified people on the ground, working hand in hand with the native personnel for an appropriate time frame to accurately information and certify customers in operations and upkeep.
Donations should drive budget
Finally, donations don’t mechanically remedy the equipment and training void in rising markets, and in some circumstances, they can actually exacerbate the issue. Global South firefighters asking for international aid are doing so because their native authorities either lack the necessary funds or don’t see their wants as a priority. But the reality is that in many nations’ governments, officials often have little understanding of the industry. They assume that donated used gadgets are a helpful answer to a budget shortfall. A short-term repair maybe. But in the lengthy term, the aim must be to motivate governments to address the actual short- and long-term needs of their Emergency Services personnel and truly put money into the event of high quality Emergency Services for his or her international locations. A fast repair might take the stress off quickly, however the important discussion about long-term financing between departments and their governments must be happening sooner, not later.
In the top, there is no shortcutting high quality. Donations need to be high quality equipment, certified for use and ideally, the place possible, the identical or similar manufacturers as these getting used presently by recipients. Equipment needs to return with real coaching from practitioners with current experience on the gear being received. Recipients have to be trained so the brand new gear could make them safer, not create extra risk. And donations mustn’t end a conversation about price range – they need to be a part of a dialog about higher standards and higher service that depends on a selection of new, recycled and donated equipment that truly serves the ever-expanding wants of the global Emergency Services group.
Please keep an eye fixed out for the fourth and final instalment of this text subsequent month, where I will illustrate components to assume about when making a donation, as properly as suggestions to ensure successful donations you can feel happy with.
Chris Gannon
Chris Gannon has spent 29 years in the industry as a nationwide Fire Chief, authorities advisor, CEO of Gannon Emergency Solutions, and has constructed a popularity as a pioneer in reviewing and enhancing Emergency Services all over the world. For extra information, please go to or
GESA (Global Emergency Services Action)
GESA is a world non-profit based in 2020 by chief firms in the Emergency Services sector. GESA is a coalition of companies, consultants and practitioners working together to change the method ahead for the global Emergency Services market. We are presently growing our flagship platform – the GESA Equipment Exchange – a web-based tool that can join Global South departments with producers, consultants, trainers and suppliers to tie donations to a sustainable, longer-term pipeline of sales and repair. For more info, membership inquiries and more, please contact

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