Fire is one of the most important elements to people across the world and throughout history. Harnessed correctly it provides heat, light, security and food. When not handled properly it threatens our homes, our possessions, and our lives. Most of the time, we are able to control the fire we use, but on the rare occasions that we cannot, we call on firefighters to control the fire and protect us and our possessions.
We are very fortunate in the western world to have modern, well-staffed and well-funded fire services to protect our property and keep us safe from fires. The same cannot be said for the millions of people living in Africa. Fire is a greater threat to most of Africa than to America or Europe but the fire services available to them are understaffed and under equipped. It is the goal of Africa Fire Mission to help change this reality.
Africa Fire Mission was started in 2012 after founder David Moore went on a short term mission trip to Nairobi, Kenya. While in Nairobi, he was asked to provide basic fire safety training to teachers and social workers at Mission of Hope International schools in the slums of the Mathare Valley. Chief Moore was able to meet with the Chief Fire Officer of the Nairobi Fire Service as well. He learned that Chief Brian Kisali was tasked with protecting a city of 5 million people with only 2 working fire engines, 1 ladder truck, and a few other assorted pieces of fire apparatus, 3 fire stations and 156 firefighters. The firefighters of the Nairobi Fire Service are poorly equipped and poorly paid but they provide the best possible service they can to the citizens of Nairobi. However, often times there are more emergencies in Nairobi than there are fire trucks and firefighters to respond. The firefighters that do respond lack basic personal protective equipment, bunker gear and enough air packs but they continue to respond and save lives.
As a non-profit organization committed to building the capacity of fire departments across Africa, Africa Fire Mission is uniquely suited to help fill needs that governments or other agencies are not able address. Africa Fire Mission is providing firefighting training directly to the firefighters in Africa. We also ship quality used personal protective equipment and other firefighting tools to the fire services. This approach allows the fire services to build their capacity internally rather than relying solely on outside assistance. By training trainers within the services, the fire departments are able to sustain their capacity and grow their capabilities faster than organizations that lack internal trainers.
Africa Fire Mission believes that assisting in the development and capacity building of fire service across the continent of Africa will lead to a safer and higher quality of life for the people of Africa by reducing the risk of losing homes, property and lives to uncontrolled fire.