Fire­fighter’s Caribbean kit do­na­tion

Midweek Visiter - - Lorry Naming Honour For Young Ethan -

FIRE crews on the Caribbean is­land of Grenada are bet­ter equipped this Christ­mas thanks to a do­na­tion spear­headed by a fire­fighter and a po­lice of­fi­cer from Mersey­side.

Crosby-based fire­fighter Kim­ber­ley An­toine’s visit to the is­land, where she has fam­ily, in­spired the do­na­tion of old and un­used Mersey­side Fire & Res­cue Ser­vice (MFRS) fire kit – and she teamed up with PC Dan Holdsworth, of Mersey­side Po­lice, to or­gan­ise the ship­ment.

When she went to Grenada in 2017, 34-year-old Kim, who lives in Formby, found that much of the fire ser­vice’s equip­ment was un­fit for pur­pose.

She said: “My dad is from Grenada and he em­i­grated to the UK in the 1970s.

“He is one of 10 sib­lings and some of my aun­ties, un­cles and cousins still live over there.

“I am for­tu­nate enough to be able to visit them every few years.

“In 2017, I vis­ited their fire sta­tion and saw that the qual­ity of their PPE (per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment) was very poor; some was not fit for pur­pose.

“Upon re­turn to the UK, I made en­quiries to es­tab­lish if it was pos­si­ble to do­nate some of our used, old or un­ser­vice­able kit.”

Grenada is a coun­try sus­cep­ti­ble to hur­ri­canes and trop­i­cal storms; in 2004, Hur­ri­cane Ivan hit the is­land, caus­ing dev­as­ta­tion which af­fected most of the pop­u­la­tion.

The is­land’s fire ser­vice was faced with the task of per­form­ing res­cues and build­ing the is­land back to a hab­it­able state.

Kim said: “En­sur­ing that fire­fight­ers have the cor­rect PPE is in­te­gral to the job. It plays a cen­tral role in pro­tect­ing them and re­duc­ing risk of in­jury when un­der­tak­ing po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous tasks.

“It fills me with great pride that MFRS have been kind enough to do­nate the kit. The fact that the do­na­tion has been made to a coun­try which my fam­ily is from, makes this all the more per­sonal.

“I feel a level of sat­is­fac­tion and ful­fil­ment know­ing that the kit is be­ing made use of in a coun­try which has much less than us, yet do the same job as us.”

Kim heard about PC Holdsworth – who had al­ready been ship­ping goods across the world, sup­ported by char­ity Tri 4 life – and asked for his help with the Grenada project.

The two were part of a team recog­nised with a visit by HRH Princess Anne in hon­our of their for­eign aid work.

Right, fire­fighter Kim­ber­ley An­toine who has sup­plied fire kit to Grenada; above, she and PC Dan Holdsworth be­ing met, and com­mended, by HRH Princess Anne

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