Bedford fire engine is donated to Kenya

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Poverty-stricken people in Kenya will be safe from fires - thanks to Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The fire authority this week donated a redundant fire engine that was recently retired from the Bedford fleet.

Kenyan Governor His Excellency, Honourable Samuel Ragwa travelled to the town with his Infrastructure Minister Basilo Gitonga to receive the gift.

Mr Ragwa governs Tharaka Nithi County, which includes some of the poorest parts of Kenya.

The area has just one fire appliance and it is so elderly that is unable to reach high buildings.

This is the fourth fire engine donated to Kenya by Beds fire and rescue service, who struck up a relationship with the country in 2009 through a local church.

The service has also donated a water carrier, a disaster response vehicle, unwanted uniforms and more than 60 sets of breathing apparatus.

Volunteer firefighters have also travelled to Kenya to help recruit and train locals to put out blazes.

Mr Ragwa said: “I would like to thank the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority chairman and the Chief fire Officer for their continued assistance to communities in Kenya.

“This generous support will continue to strengthen the capacity of our local firefighters and make Thakara Nithi County a safer community.”

Beds chief fire officer Paul Fuller said: “It is important that our own appliances and equipment are kept up to date and inevitably our older vehicles have to be disposed of.”

He added; “We have a simple philosophy that lifesaving equipment which may no longer be of use here may continue to save lives for many years to come in Kenya.”

Pictured is BFRS chair Councillor David McVicar and CFO Paul Fuller handing over the keys to the fire engine to Mr Ragwa and Mr Gitonga.