West Sussex firefighters to travel across Europe to deliver fire engines to North Macedonia in four days

Firefighters from West Sussex are travelling across Europe this weekend to deliver fire engines.

The firefighters will journey through France, Italy, and Albania to deliver three fire engines to North Macedonia by Wednesday November 17.

The 1,600 mile trip will commence on Sunday and will take around 22 hours in total to complete.

The journey is part of the Fire Service Humanitarian Aid project, and the engines are being delivered to support firefighters in the towns on Novaci, Kamanicia, and Sveti Nikole in carrying out their duties.

West Sussex firefighters travel across Europe to North Macedonia to deliver fire trucks as part of the Fire Service Humanitarian Aid project. Photo from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

The fire engines are provided from a partnership with FireAid and used to serve in Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, until they were withdrawn from the service in 2019. They are fully kitted out with equipment and carry around 150 sets of fire kit - including boots and helmets.

The group of West Sussex firefighters will carry out four days of training in Macedonia, familiarising them with the fire engines and the equipment, before flying home on November 21.

The West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service firefighters on the trip are, Joe Cullum, Kathleen Port, Lee Buckingham, Pete Langridge, Roy Barraclough, and Simon Boyling. They will also be joined by former Station Manager Tim Eady and George Wippich, a Watch Manager from East Sussex.

Speaking of the project, station manager Roy Barraclough, said: “Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of carrying out many international missions through the humanitarian charity, Operation Florian.

“Delivering specialist equipment abroad and being able to see first-hand how much the communities will benefit from it is truly priceless.

“In the fire service we’re one big family – no matter where abouts in the world you live . So, I am over the moon that COVID-19 restrictions have allowed us to restart our charity work, meet new colleagues and above all else, do what we love most – keep people safe.”

You can follow the teams progress and support the project on Facebook.