A group of firefighters from across the nation are joining for a mission trip to Liberia to help rebuild their fire service. The group is traveling to the country under the partnership of the non-profit organization, Fire Rescue Alliance and the government of Liberia. The team will be in Liberia for three weeks teaching fire rescue classes, assessing the needs for future growth and coordinating the donation of fire gear, donated equipment, an ambulance and a fire engine.
"The need in Liberia is dire," said Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services Deputy Fire/EMS Chief John Butler, who lived in Liberia until 1980 and is returning with the organization for the second year. "The firefighters in Liberia have the heart and passion to serve but do not have the necessary tools. Many are still fighting fire in street clothes and there is only a few fire engines in the entire country, which is the size of the state of Ohio."
Thanks to the work of the Fire Rescue Alliance, more than 250 Liberian firefighters and command staff will have an opportunity to train with some of the best instructors and fire service leaders in the United States. An advance team of nine will land in the capital of Liberia on November 3rd. They will be followed by three waves of industry leaders who will be in the country until November 25th. The Alliance will also be delivering a state-of-the-art fire engine, which was shipped to Liberia in October.
"I commend the fire and rescue personnel from Howard County and elsewhere who are dedicated to serving not only their own communities, but the international community as well," said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. "It is gratifying and exciting that the skills and training that serve our residents so well can be of value to others across the globe. A safer world benefits all of us."
"This will be our third deployment to Liberia and we are committed to making a difference," said Kenneth Prillaman who founded the Fire Rescue Alliance. "This project will better equip the firefighters in Liberia so that they, in turn, can better protect property and save lives."
For additional information on this mission trip and the organization, visit www.firerescuealliance.org