Donations – An Essential Guide, Part three

Donations can cause unintended pressure

Donations of Emergency Services gear to the Global South come from all types of sources and comprise quite so much of brands of equipment. Donating entities acquire whatever they’ll and bundle goods into shipments that ideally match the needs of the recipient. But the considerably haphazard donations process can end up creating added pressure on the Global South recipient departments. After all, it is exhausting enough sustaining a standardized inventory of kit. But think about now having a mix of tools, every with slightly different traits and attributes – gear, instruments and autos with different manuals in case you have them, totally different spare parts if you want them, specialist technical assist if one way or the other you could get entry to it domestically, and infrequently instructions that aren’t in the local language of recipient firefighters.
Moreover, I have seen donated gear arrive in recipient countries that is clearly marked as out of service (OOS), unserviceable (U/S), unrepairable, failed and even ‘unsafe–do not use’. Also frequent is broken or incomplete tools; PPE that is 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 most typical of all, punctured fire hose.
Donations usually include written disclaimers from some Global North organizations, absolving them from any warranty, assure and responsibility for accident, injury or mechanical failure after delivery. But authorized legal responsibility is hardly the biggest concern of a recipient department looking to shield its personnel. Clear fit-for-duty situations ought to always be met by a donation to ensure it serves its supposed objective.
Lastly, many donors expect the host nation or recipient division to cover some prices – transport, 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 part of the recipient), these prices may be substantial for recipients who in many instances can’t afford fundamental, new assets. These prices put important pressure on the recipient departments and may end up in donations being stuck in warehouses for months or years while recipients wait for somebody to pay taxes and charges to get the equipment ‘released’ to be used.
Are we encouraging risk?

I have seen many types of gear that require regular, specialist care and statutory management which have arrived in the hands of abroad personnel having failed or exceeded the permissible requirements anticipated in the country of origin. Used ladders, hoses, pumps, chemical safety fits, medical supplies, radiation and gas-monitoring devices, lines, lifejackets, vertical rescue tools, etc. all cascade their method down to countries where they are used and trusted by those with much less regulatory safety. 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 have seen this within the subject – that some sorts of sophisticated donated gear often encourage firefighters to sort out emergencies that they don’t have any training or ability to deal with. In many circumstances, they expose themselves to far higher threat, as they’ve neither the expertise nor the coaching alternatives that Global North responders have.
Responders in emerging markets don’t have the luxurious of calling the native power or gas firm to isolate the availability to a property earlier than they enter. They might face stored domestic fuel bottles, unauthorized electrical energy connections, illegal building standards, and different hazards that make their operations particularly precarious. But armed with their newly donated equipment, they sometimes assume that they are better protected to enter those risks than before, when they had nothing.
Ask yourself should you would truthfully be okay with using donated tools that has failed certification or handed its usable date in your individual daily emergencies, not to mention underneath these circumstances?

Some donor agencies that ship their personnel to give short-term, primary training problem their own ‘certificates of attendance and/or competence’. But attendance isn’t the same as mastery. A firefighter receiving a donation is unlikely to ask if the international skilled is basically qualified to show them a couple of explicit piece of kit. Unless certifications are endorsed or acknowledged by a genuine standards agency in the host nation and the instructors have current qualifications and authorized authority to concern them exterior their very own nation, the practice is questionable.
In many ways, skilled steering is even more essential than the donated equipment itself. If we want to prevent donation-driven risk taking by Global South first responders, we have to not solely donate equipment that’s fit for responsibility but also support our donations with qualified individuals on the ground, working hand in hand with the native personnel for an applicable time period to accurately guide and certify users in operations and upkeep.
Donations should drive finances

Finally, donations don’t routinely treatment the tools and training void in emerging markets, and in some circumstances, they will truly exacerbate the problem. Global South firefighters asking for international assist are doing so as a end result of their local authorities both lack the necessary funds or don’t see their wants as a precedence. But เกจวัดแรงดันออกซิเจน is that in lots of nations’ governments, officials usually have little understanding of the business. They assume that donated used gadgets are a useful solution to a price range shortfall. A short-term repair maybe. But in the lengthy run, the objective must be to motivate governments to address the true short- and long-term needs of their Emergency Services personnel and really put cash into the development of high quality Emergency Services for his or her international locations. A quick repair may take the strain off quickly, but the essential discussion about long-term financing between departments and their governments needs to be happening sooner, not later.
In the end, there isn’t any shortcutting quality. Donations need to be quality tools, licensed for use and ideally, where possible, the same or related manufacturers as these being used presently by recipients. Equipment needs to return with real training from practitioners with present experience on the gear being obtained. Recipients have to be trained so the brand new gear could make them safer, not create extra threat. And donations shouldn’t finish a dialog about price range – they need to be a part of a dialog about higher standards and higher service that relies on a wide range of new, recycled and donated equipment that actually serves the ever-expanding wants of the worldwide Emergency Services community.
Please keep an eye fixed out for the fourth and ultimate instalment of this text next month, the place I will illustrate elements to suppose about when making a donation, as properly as suggestions to ensure profitable donations you’ll have the ability to feel happy with.
Chris Gannon

Chris Gannon has spent 29 years in the industry as a national Fire Chief, government advisor, CEO of Gannon Emergency Solutions, and has constructed a popularity as a pioneer in reviewing and bettering Emergency Services around the world. For extra info, please go to or
GESA (Global Emergency Services Action)

GESA is a global non-profit founded in 2020 by chief corporations within the Emergency Services sector. GESA is a coalition of corporations, consultants and practitioners working collectively to change the method ahead for the worldwide Emergency Services marketplace. We are at present growing our flagship platform – the GESA Equipment Exchange – a web-based device that can 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


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