UK Rotarians donate wildland firefighting trucks to Kosovo

Firefighting vehicles will help tackle summer forest blazes in Kosovo

The Cornish Guardian

CORNWALL, U.K. — Rotarians from across Cornwall are delivering three rescue vehicles donated by the county's fire service to the people of Kosovo.

Rotary District 1290's Overseas Project Team (OPT), whose members come from Bodmin, Falmouth, Launceston, St Ives Bay and Wadebridge, left Liskeard fire station on Friday, May 11, for the 1,800-mile journey.

The team is driving three Land Rovers to Kosovo, part of the former Yugoslavia, which is still rebuilding its infrastructure 13 years after the end of the country's devastating war with Serbia. Rotarian Peter Ripley said: "Firefighting services are poor and the OPT has done much over the years to provide modern equipment and training to Kosovo, with the generous support and help of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service.

"Forest fires are a very real problem during the hot summer months and very few fire stations have 4x4 vehicles to transport firefighters to the seats of fires to enable them to deal effectively with such incidents at an early stage.

"Some stations have to tackle as many as 400 forest fires each year," he said.

The Land Rovers, which contain equpiment for forest firefighting, will be delivered to Gjakova and Peja in the west and Podujevo in the north-east of the country.

The group is already planning further projects including remedial work at a hospital and home for children suffering from cerebral palsy in Kraljevica in Croatia, assisted by police cadets from Cornwall.

The people of St Teath have donated a 17-seat minibus which will be taken to Rahovec in the south- west of Kosovo and used on a daily basis to transport dialysis patients for treatment.

Up to 7,000 students at secondary schools in Gjakova will also benefit from modern computer equipment.

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