Donations – An Essential Guide, Part three

Donations can cause unintended strain
Donations of Emergency Services equipment to the Global South come from all kinds of sources and contain a variety of brands of apparatus. Donating entities acquire whatever they will and bundle goods into shipments that ideally match the wants of the recipient. But the considerably haphazard donations process can end up creating added stress on the Global South recipient departments. After all, it’s hard enough maintaining a standardized stock of apparatus. But imagine now having a mixture of gear, every with slightly totally different traits and attributes – gear, tools and autos with different manuals if you have them, totally different spare parts whenever you want them, specialist technical assist if somehow you can get access to it domestically, and infrequently directions that are not within the local language of recipient firefighters.
Moreover, I really have seen donated gear arrive in recipient nations 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 inner shell; SCBA masks with no harnesses or exhalation valves; seized pumps; and, the most common of all, punctured fireplace hose.
Donations usually include written disclaimers from some Global North organizations, absolving them from any warranty, guarantee and duty for accident, harm or mechanical failure after supply. But legal liability is hardly the largest concern of a recipient department seeking to protect its personnel. Clear fit-for-duty conditions ought to all the time be met by a donation to ensure it serves its supposed objective.
Lastly, many donors expect the host nation or recipient division to cowl some costs – shipping, import duties and flights for volunteers offering training and attending the handover. And while there are good arguments for cost-sharing (including that it encourages accountability on the a part of the recipient), these costs may be substantial for recipients who in many instances can’t afford primary, new assets. These prices put important strain on the recipient departments and may find yourself in donations being stuck in warehouses for months or years whereas recipients wait for someone to pay taxes and costs to get the equipment ‘released’ to be used.
Are we encouraging risk?
เกรดวัดแรงดัน have seen many kinds of gear that require common, specialist care and statutory management that have arrived within the hands of abroad personnel having failed or exceeded the permissible standards anticipated within the nation of origin. Used ladders, hoses, pumps, chemical protection fits, medical supplies, radiation and gas-monitoring units, lines, lifejackets, vertical rescue gear, and so on. all cascade their method down to international locations where they’re used and trusted by those with less regulatory protection. Firefighters in the Global South are not any less brave than their counterparts in richer countries. The gear they use should nonetheless be secure.
It considerations me – and I even have seen this within the field – that some sorts of sophisticated donated tools typically encourage firefighters to deal with emergencies that they haven’t any coaching or capability to deal with. In many circumstances, they expose themselves to far greater threat, as they’ve neither the experience nor the coaching opportunities that Global North responders have.
Responders in emerging markets don’t have the posh of calling the native power or fuel company to isolate the supply to a property before they enter. They would possibly face stored home fuel bottles, unauthorized electricity connections, unlawful constructing standards, and different hazards that make their operations especially precarious. But armed with their newly donated tools, they sometimes assume that they’re better protected to enter those risks than earlier than, when they had nothing.
Ask yourself if you would actually be okay with utilizing donated gear that has failed certification or handed its usable date in your individual every day emergencies, not to mention under these circumstances?
Some donor businesses that send their personnel to offer short-term, fundamental training issue 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 overseas professional is actually certified to teach them about a explicit piece of equipment. Unless certifications are endorsed or recognized by a genuine standards agency in the host nation and the instructors have current qualifications and legal authority to problem them outside their very own country, the practice is questionable.
In many ways, skilled guidance is even more important than the donated gear itself. If we need to prevent donation-driven danger taking by Global South first responders, we want to not only donate equipment that is match for obligation but in addition assist our donations with certified folks on the ground, working hand in hand with the native personnel for an applicable period of time to appropriately information and certify customers in operations and upkeep.
Donations ought to drive budget
Finally, donations don’t mechanically remedy the equipment and coaching void in rising markets, and in some cases, they can actually exacerbate the issue. Global South firefighters asking for overseas aid are doing so as a end result of their local authorities both lack the necessary funds or don’t see their needs as a priority. But the truth is that in many nations’ governments, officials often have little understanding of the business. They assume that donated used items are a helpful solution to a price range shortfall. A short-term repair maybe. But in the long term, the aim have to be to encourage governments to address the actual short- and long-term needs of their Emergency Services personnel and really spend cash on the event of high quality Emergency Services for his or her international locations. A quick repair could take the pressure off briefly, however the necessary dialogue about long-term financing between departments and their governments needs to be occurring sooner, not later.
In the end, there isn’t any shortcutting high quality. Donations need to be high quality equipment, certified to be used and ideally, where attainable, the same or comparable brands as these being used at present by recipients. Equipment needs to come back with actual training from practitioners with current expertise on the gear being obtained. Recipients have to be skilled so the new tools can make them safer, not create additional threat. And donations should not finish a conversation about price range – they want to be a part of a dialog about higher requirements and better service that relies on a selection of new, recycled and donated gear that really serves the ever-expanding needs of the global Emergency Services group.
Please keep an eye out for the fourth and final instalment of this text subsequent month, where I will illustrate elements to suppose about when making a donation, in addition to recommendations to make sure profitable donations you’ll find a way to feel pleased with.
Chris Gannon
Chris Gannon has spent 29 years within the industry as a nationwide Fire Chief, government advisor, CEO of Gannon Emergency Solutions, and has constructed a status as a pioneer in reviewing and improving Emergency Services all over the world. For extra information, please go to or
GESA (Global Emergency Services Action)
GESA is a global non-profit based in 2020 by leader firms in the Emergency Services sector. GESA is a coalition of firms, consultants and practitioners working together to vary the future of the global Emergency Services marketplace. We are presently developing our flagship platform – the GESA Equipment Exchange – a web-based software that can connect Global South departments with producers, consultants, trainers and suppliers to tie donations to a sustainable, longer-term pipeline of sales and repair. For more information, membership inquiries and extra, please contact