Cambodia, 2012

In March 2012, GlobalFire deployed a team of Canadian firefighters to train and donate equipment to firefighters in Cambodia.  The mission, which lasted 14 days, is the second Capacity Building Operation (CBO) GlobalFire has conducted in the area, and was designed to build upon the framework established during the 2010 CBO.

The GlobalFire team, with the aid of translators, taught a week long basic firefighting and fireground survival course to 50 members of several Cambodian fire departments.  Topics included: Fire 101, size-up, smoke “reading”, fire control, ventilation, pumping, fire streams, search and rescue techniques, searchline operations, drags and carries, low and reduced SCBA profile manoeuvres, wire dis-entanglement procedures, ground ladder operations and rescues, forcible entry, firefighter rescue, CPR and defibrillation. 

The end of the course was marked by two days of real time fire scenarios that required the students to perform many of the skills taught during the course.  Forcible entry, fire attack, wire dis-entanglement and multiple victim rescues were just some of the challenges the GlobalFire instructors presented the students with during each scenario.  Following the scenarios, a graduation ceremony was held, and the students received course certificates.  This is always an important part of GlobalFire’s instructional programs, as many of the firefighters that attend GlobalFire training throughout the developing world have never had a day of schooling.

Following the firefighter training course, the GlobalFire team also spent time at the Angkor Children’s Hospital, inspecting and servicing the facility’s fire protection equipment and instructing facility staff on the proper use and maintenance of that equipment.

The mission was a huge success. The Cambodian firefighters received needed training at no cost.  Fire fighting protective equipment, that had been donated to GlobalFire, was brought from Canada to outfit the entire fire department of the city of Siem Reap.  Forcible entry tools purchased in Canada were also donated, due to the extremely difficult access issues commonly encountered in the developing world.  Funds donated to GlobalFire were used to purchase local supplies needed by the city’s “Fire Police”, as well as to pay for repairs to several fire trucks, putting one truck they were unable to even start back in operation.

None of this could have been accomplished without the private donations GlobalFire needs to operate, as well as the hard work and long hours the GlobalFire team put in before and during the operation.