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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Firefighting Relief Charity Turns 15


An international relief charity set up by a former Staffordshire firefighter will celebrate its 15th anniversary by training police, fire and paramedic staff in Macedonia.

Staffordshire Emergency Services Humanitarian Aid Association (SESHAA) was established in 1995 by Alf Wilson, former Moorlands Area Commander for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

"The support Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has given SESHAA is exceptional."

Alf Wilson, Founder SESHAA

Since its inauguration SESHAA has piloted projects across the world, providing support to communities blighted by war, famine and natural disaster, where there is a tangible threat to life.

Recent projects have been delivered in Poland, Uganda, Bosnia and Jamaica. Work helps to bring order to communities through the provision of modern firefighting equipment.

"The support Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has given SESHAA is exceptional," said Alf.

"All our projects are sustainable, it is not about what we think people would like but what they need.

"Our motivation is pure and simple – to assist and help people by equipping them with the skills, knowledge and training they need to establish modern, efficient and safe emergency services.

"Equipment and appliances are also made available where there is a need for them to support the local community and delivery of fire services."

During the group's visit to Macedonia this summer, emergency service workers will embark on a training programme based around road traffic collisions.

The aim of the project is to improve co-operation and team work among the fire service, police and paramedics when they attend such incidents.

"I am very proud of SESHAA, the work we have done, the efforts of members and the support we get from the Staffordshire public as well as local businesses," adds Alf.

"To date I think my proudest achievement with the group is when we visited Africa. We guided a group of firefighters through their exams, provided four new appliances for their operation which helped support local hospitals."

SESHAA is funded through donations with support from the Fire Brigades Union. Members are volunteers representing public service bodies such as the police and ambulance.

Laura Cole, New Media Officer for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, has been a member of SESHAA since 2008. She will be part of the delegation visiting Macedonia later this year.

"The work SESHAA does is inspiring, from training child soldiers in Uganda to become firefighters to improving school facilities and shelter for orphans," she said.

"Every project starts with a fact finding visit where problems are assessed, materials and supplies sourced and a management structure implemented.

"The projects are self sustaining, SESHAA maintains a watching brief until any further request for assistance."