In partnership with Bloomington, Indiana Fire Department Africa Fire Mission was able to send gloves, flashlights and a few other safety items as 4 Bloomington Firefighters worked in Freetown with their firefighters. We look forward to other opportunities to partner in Sierra Leone in the future!
AFM instructors provided training for the 4th year in Kenya. Our team of 13 US firefighters and 10 CHE workers from Missions of Hope International provided a week of training in Muranga, Kenya. Training topics included Community Fire Prevention, Tactical Firefighting, Leadership and Emergency Vehicle Operations. Partners from Polish Aid (PCPM) and Kenya Council of Emergency Medical Technicians provided First Aid and EMS training.
It was exciting to see the advancements of the fire service including more volunteer firefighters. The fire services is rapidly expanding their connections with communities through integration of community fire prevention and basic first aid especially with children and motorcycle drivers. Reports of over 500,000 individuals trained in community fire prevention since November 2017!
Team members were also able to visit fire stations in Nairobi, Kenya; Mariakani, Kenya as well as the firefighters at JKIA (Nairobi's international airport).
In June and July, teams from Parkview Christian Church, Orland Park, Illinois and Generations Christian Church, Trinity Florida provided Fire Prevention Training at Missions of Hope International. Over 3500 children and their teachers received life-saving information about preventing and responding to fires. There had been a fire at one of the Missions of Hope schools early in 2018 and the timing of this training was critical in the Mathare Valley as well as in Turkana, Kenya. Where there is no fire brigade.
Nancy Moore, director of programs, met with fire service leadership in Kilifi, Nairobi, Muranga and Kiambu Counties to continue planning for our 2018 fire symposium and to see the progress that is occurring. Kilifi and Nairobi Counties have boreholes under construction at their fire stations; Kiambu county has started a new fire station in Kiambaa – allowing them better access to this growing community “you have to start somewhere” – the fire station is a shack. Nairobi is now able to respond to more fires thanks to a partnership with Belgium Aid which has provided new fire trucks.
Mariakani Fire Brigade in Kilifi County serves about 300,000 people. Since November 2017 they have trained over 60,000 children and adults in fire safety. They are using community development principles to do this by using locally available resources to serve their community in the best way possible. They are proud of their work. The Mariakani Fire Brigade has also started 3 Jr Firefighter programs, one for children that live near the fire station and come to the fire station for programs and 2 programs at local schools. These children have successfully suppressed one small fire that could have resulted in a much larger fire without the knowledge of these children. Mariakani has also started Friends of Firefighters Fellowship - a local church that meets at the fire station
What would you do if you see a fire? Yell: FIRE FIRE FIRE! What would you do if your clothes catch fire? STOP DROP and ROLL! What would you do if your house is on fire? GET LOW and GET OUT!
Those are the words to our new fire prevention song that was introduced in Kenya during this mission. In the U.S. nearly everyone knows the number for the fire department, how to exit their home safely in a fire and many more fire safety and prevention techniques.
Imagine not knowing how to call the fire department when you needed them, or not knowing what to do if your clothes caught fire. How helpless would you feel? We’ve set out to change that helpless feeling into knowledge across Africa.
A team of 22 people from fire departments, churches and communities all across the U.S. came together in Nairobi to share the message of fire safety and God's love to the children and staff at the Missions of Hope International’s Kosovo School. During this amazing week, the AFM team taught the kids fire safety, shared the Bible and played games with the students, created songs and dances with the students and showed God’s love to the kids and staff.
Now 40 teachers, 1100 school kids, their families and friends in the Mathare Valley of Kenya know what to do and who to call when fires break out and how to safely evacuate their school in case of fire.
In September, Brad Banz, Hank Clemmensen and Dave and Nancy Moore traveled to Lusaka Zambia for two weeks to teach at the 2nd All Zambia Fire Academy. Nearly 200 firefighters from all across the country traveled to Lusaka to network and learn about community fire prevention, commanding fire and emergency scenes, how to prevent cancer and how to deal with the psychological trauma and PTSD that is so prevalent in the fire service around the world.
During the academy we had the honor of meeting the first female fire chief Zambia has ever had and having her lead one of the main tabletop simulation exercise on the last day of the training.
Our team was able to see the 42 newly purchased fire engines that were in the process of being distributed to the countries fire brigades. These new fire engines will nearly double the firefighting capacity of the fire brigades in Zambia. We are excited to see the progress Zambia is making in upgrading the fire services and we look forward to partnering with the country and the Campaign for a Fire Free Zambia in 2018 as we implement community fire prevention training in Zambia and in 2019 as we host the 3rd All Zambia Fire Academy and expand that academy to also include firefighters from the country of Malawi as well.