Donations – An Essential Guide, Part 3

Donations can cause unintended pressure
Donations of Emergency Services tools to the Global South come from all kinds of sources and contain quite a lot of manufacturers of kit. Donating entities gather no matter they will and bundle goods into shipments that ideally match the wants of the recipient. But the somewhat haphazard donations course of can find yourself creating added pressure on the Global South recipient departments. After all, it is hard sufficient sustaining a standardized stock of apparatus. But imagine now having a combination of equipment, every with slightly totally different characteristics and attributes – gear, tools and vehicles with different manuals in case you have them, totally different spare components whenever you need them, specialist technical support if somehow you can get entry to it regionally, and infrequently instructions that are not within the native language of recipient firefighters.
Moreover, I really have seen donated gear arrive in recipient nations that is clearly marked as out of service (OOS), unserviceable (U/S), unrepairable, failed and even ‘unsafe–do not use’. Also widespread is broken or incomplete equipment; PPE that is torn, still dirty with blood, or with out thermal liners; cracked helmets with no face shields or inside shell; SCBA masks with no harnesses or exhalation valves; seized pumps; and, the commonest of all, punctured fire hose.
Donations typically include written disclaimers from some Global North organizations, absolving them from any guarantee, assure and accountability for accident, injury or mechanical failure after delivery. But legal liability is hardly the most important concern of a recipient division looking to defend its personnel. Clear fit-for-duty circumstances ought to all the time be met by a donation to ensure it serves its meant purpose.
Lastly, many donors expect the host nation or recipient department to cover some prices – 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 part of the recipient), these costs could be substantial for recipients who in many circumstances can’t afford primary, new assets. These costs put significant strain on the recipient departments and can lead to donations being caught in warehouses for months or years whereas recipients wait for someone to pay taxes and costs to get the tools ‘released’ for use.
Are we encouraging risk?
I even have seen many kinds of tools that require common, specialist care and statutory control that have arrived within the hands of overseas personnel having failed or exceeded the permissible standards anticipated within the country of origin. Used ladders, hoses, pumps, chemical safety suits, medical supplies, radiation and gas-monitoring units, strains, lifejackets, vertical rescue equipment, and so forth. all cascade their means down to international locations where they are used and trusted by those with much less regulatory protection. เครื่องมือที่ใช้วัดความดันโลหิต within the Global South aren’t any less brave than their counterparts in richer nations. The gear they use should nonetheless be protected.
It issues me – and I even have seen this in the field – that some sorts of sophisticated donated equipment typically encourage firefighters to tackle emergencies that they have no coaching or ability to deal with. In many circumstances, they expose themselves to far higher risk, as they have neither the experience nor the coaching opportunities that Global North responders have.
Responders in emerging markets don’t have the luxury of calling the native energy or fuel company to isolate the supply to a property before they enter. They would possibly face saved home fuel bottles, unauthorized electricity connections, illegal building standards, and different hazards that make their operations especially precarious. But armed with their newly donated equipment, they often assume that they’re better protected to enter these dangers than before, once they had nothing.
Ask yourself when you would truthfully be okay with utilizing donated gear that has failed certification or passed its usable date in your personal every day emergencies, not to mention underneath these circumstances?
Some donor businesses that send their personnel to offer short-term, basic training concern their own ‘certificates of attendance and/or competence’. But attendance isn’t the identical as mastery. A firefighter receiving a donation is unlikely to ask if the overseas skilled is basically qualified to show them a few specific piece of kit. Unless certifications are endorsed or recognized by a real requirements company in the host country and the instructors have present qualifications and legal authority to concern them outdoors their own country, the apply is questionable.
In many ways, skilled steering is much more necessary than the donated tools itself. If we need to prevent donation-driven threat taking by Global South first responders, we have to not solely donate tools that is match for responsibility but in addition support our donations with certified people on the bottom, working hand in hand with the native personnel for an acceptable time period to correctly guide and certify customers in operations and maintenance.
Donations ought to drive price range
Finally, donations do not automatically remedy the tools and training void in emerging markets, and in some cases, they’ll truly exacerbate the issue. Global South firefighters asking for international help are doing so as a outcome of their native authorities either lack the required funds or don’t see their needs as a priority. But the reality is that in many nations’ governments, officers usually have little understanding of the business. They assume that donated used items are a handy answer to a finances shortfall. A short-term fix maybe. But in the long term, the aim must be to motivate governments to deal with the real short- and long-term wants of their Emergency Services personnel and really invest in the event of quality Emergency Services for his or her countries. A fast fix could take the pressure off briefly, however the essential discussion about long-term financing between departments and their governments needs to be taking place sooner, not later.
In the end, there is not any shortcutting high quality. Donations need to be high quality equipment, certified for use and ideally, where potential, the same or comparable brands as these being used at present by recipients. Equipment needs to come with actual coaching from practitioners with current experience on the gear being obtained. Recipients have to be trained so the new tools can make them safer, not create extra threat. And donations mustn’t end a conversation about budget – they should be part of a conversation about greater requirements and higher service that relies on a big selection of new, recycled and donated gear that really serves the ever-expanding needs of the worldwide Emergency Services group.
Please hold an eye out for the fourth and ultimate instalment of this article subsequent month, the place I will illustrate factors to consider when making a donation, as properly as recommendations to make sure profitable donations you can really feel proud of.
Chris Gannon
Chris Gannon has spent 29 years within the trade as a national Fire Chief, government advisor, CEO of Gannon Emergency Solutions, and has built a reputation as a pioneer in reviewing and improving Emergency Services around the globe. For more info, please visit or
GESA (Global Emergency Services Action)
GESA is an international non-profit founded in 2020 by leader corporations within the Emergency Services sector. GESA is a coalition of firms, consultants and practitioners working together to change the future of the worldwide Emergency Services marketplace. We are currently developing our flagship platform – the GESA Equipment Exchange – a web-based software that will join Global South departments with manufacturers, consultants, trainers and suppliers to tie donations to a sustainable, longer-term pipeline of gross sales and service. For more data, membership inquiries and extra, please contact

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