Donations – An Essential Guide, Part three

Donations may cause unintended pressure
Donations of Emergency Services equipment to the Global South come from all types of sources and include a variety of manufacturers of apparatus. Donating entities gather whatever they’ll and bundle items into shipments that ideally match the needs of the recipient. But the somewhat haphazard donations process 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 combination of gear, each with slightly completely different traits and attributes – gear, instruments and vehicles with completely different manuals in case you have them, totally different spare elements whenever you need them, specialist technical assist if one way or the other you can get entry to it regionally, and infrequently directions that are not within the local language of recipient firefighters.
Moreover, I even have seen donated gear arrive in recipient countries that’s clearly marked as out of service (OOS), unserviceable (U/S), unrepairable, failed and even ‘unsafe–do not use’. Also common is damaged or incomplete tools; PPE that is torn, nonetheless 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 commonest of all, punctured fireplace hose.
Donations sometimes come with written disclaimers from some Global North organizations, absolving them from any guarantee, assure and accountability for accident, injury or mechanical failure after delivery. But authorized liability is hardly the biggest concern of a recipient department trying to protect its personnel. Clear fit-for-duty situations should all the time be met by a donation to make sure it serves its intended objective.
Lastly, many donors expect the host country or recipient department to cover some prices – shipping, 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 a half of the recipient), these prices may be substantial for recipients who in plenty of circumstances can’t afford primary, new property. These costs put significant pressure on the recipient departments and can outcome in donations being caught in warehouses for months or years whereas recipients wait for somebody to pay taxes and charges to get the tools ‘released’ for use.
Are we encouraging risk?
I have seen many forms of tools that require regular, specialist care and statutory management which have arrived in the palms of abroad personnel having failed or exceeded the permissible standards anticipated in the country of origin. Used ladders, hoses, pumps, chemical protection suits, medical supplies, radiation and gas-monitoring devices, lines, lifejackets, vertical rescue gear, and so on. all cascade their method all the method down to countries where they are used and trusted by those with much less regulatory protection. Firefighters within the Global South are no much less brave than their counterparts in richer international locations. The gear they use must nonetheless be secure.
It concerns me – and I actually have seen this in the field – that some kinds of refined donated equipment usually encourage firefighters to deal with emergencies that they haven’t any training or ability to handle. In many circumstances, they expose themselves to far larger threat, as they have neither the experience nor the coaching opportunities that Global North responders have.
Responders in emerging markets don’t have the luxury of calling the native power or gas company to isolate the provision to a property before they enter. They would possibly face stored home fuel bottles, unauthorized electricity connections, unlawful building standards, and other hazards that make their operations especially precarious. But armed with their newly donated gear, they generally assume that they’re higher protected to enter those risks than before, once they had nothing.
Ask your self should you would actually be okay with using donated gear that has failed certification or handed its usable date in your personal day by day emergencies, not to mention beneath these circumstances?
Some donor agencies that ship their personnel to give short-term, fundamental 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 foreign professional is actually qualified to show them about a explicit piece of equipment. Unless certifications are endorsed or acknowledged by a genuine requirements company in the host nation and the instructors have present qualifications and authorized authority to problem them exterior their very own country, the practice is questionable.
In many ways, skilled steering is even more important than the donated gear itself. If we wish to prevent donation-driven threat taking by Global South first responders, we have to not solely donate equipment that’s match for responsibility but additionally support our donations with certified people on the bottom, working hand in hand with the native personnel for an appropriate time period to accurately guide and certify customers in operations and upkeep.
Donations ought to drive budget
Finally, donations don’t routinely treatment the gear and training void in rising markets, and in some cases, they will really exacerbate the issue. Global South firefighters asking for overseas assist are doing so as a end result of their native authorities either lack the required funds or don’t see their wants as a precedence. But the reality is that in many nations’ governments, officials typically have little understanding of the trade. They assume that donated used gadgets are a helpful solution to a finances shortfall. A short-term fix maybe. But in the lengthy term, the goal should be to motivate governments to deal with the actual short- and long-term wants of their Emergency Services personnel and actually put cash into the event of high quality Emergency Services for their countries. A fast fix could take the stress off temporarily, but the essential discussion about long-term financing between departments and their governments must be taking place sooner, not later.
In the end, there isn’t a shortcutting quality. Donations must be quality equipment, licensed to be used and ideally, the place possible, the identical or related manufacturers as these being used currently by recipients. Equipment needs to return with real training from practitioners with current expertise on the gear being acquired. Recipients must be trained so the brand new gear can make them safer, not create further danger. And donations mustn’t finish a dialog about finances – they need to be part of a dialog about greater requirements and higher service that depends on quite a lot of new, recycled and donated gear that truly serves the ever-expanding needs of the global Emergency Services community.
Please hold an eye fixed out for the fourth and last instalment of this article subsequent month, the place I will illustrate components to contemplate when making a donation, in addition to recommendations to make sure profitable donations you probably can really feel pleased with.
Chris Gannon
Chris Gannon has spent 29 years in the trade as a nationwide Fire Chief, authorities advisor, CEO of Gannon Emergency Solutions, and has constructed a reputation as a pioneer in reviewing and enhancing Emergency Services around the world. For extra info, please visit or
GESA (Global Emergency Services Action)
GESA is an international non-profit based in 2020 by chief firms within the Emergency Services sector. เกจ์วัดแก๊สหุงต้ม is a coalition of companies, consultants and practitioners working collectively to change the future of the worldwide Emergency Services marketplace. We are currently developing our flagship platform – the GESA Equipment Exchange – a web-based tool that may join Global South departments with producers, consultants, trainers and suppliers to tie donations to a sustainable, longer-term pipeline of gross sales and repair. For more data, membership inquiries and more, please contact

Scroll to Top