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FIREFIGHTERS in Bury gave demonstrations to a multi-national audience last week, including spectators from as far as Africa and India.
The visitors – who are community leaders in their respective countries – were in the town as part of a programme being run in association with ADAB (Asian Development Association of Bury), who work closely with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) to deliver fire safety advice and information.
A group of eight people from Uganda, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Wales and London attended Bury Community Fire Station on Thursday, November 27, where they were given an RTC demonstration by Blue Watch Bury, led by Crew Manager Glyn Smith.
They also observed a rope access scenario carried out in the station yard by Red Watch Ramsbottom, led by Watch Manager Kris Bailey, as well as learning about the varied work of GMFRS’ operational and community safety staff.
The group were in the UK for a week as part of an Active Citizens programme. Active Citizens is a non-profit programme that promotes community cohesion and improvement through civic engagement or volunteering.
It’s run by the British Council and partner organisations, such as ADAB, and aims to increase the contribution of community leaders towards achieving sustainable development.
During their stay in the UK, the group visited a number of public sector organisations and community groups – they also managed to fit in a visit to the Trafford Centre for some retail therapy!
Bury Station Manager Mark Threader said: “In their home countries and respective communities, these people have no interaction with any of the emergency services unless as a 'customer' and often the fire services are viewed with suspicion and seen as part of a 'military' organisation.
“So they were really intrigued to hear of the community interaction that GMFRS carries out on a daily basis, including the community risk reduction work that operational firefighters and community safety teams do. They were also interested in the various non-operational roles and departments we have.
“During a feedback session at the end of their visit, the students expressed their admiration of the skills shown, the professionalism of the firefighters and their friendly and welcoming attitude.”