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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

SESHAA

SESHAA
Staffordshire Emergency Services Humanitarian Aid Association - Registered UK Charity Number 1070739

Staffordshire Emergency Services Humanitarian Aid Association (SESHAA) was founded in 1995 and has been active in areas of the world that are affected by conflict, humanitarian or natural disaster.

Areas include Albania, Bosnia, Bangladesh, Croatia, Jamaica, Malawi (South East Africa), Macedonia, Poland, Uganda, Volograd (South Russia) the charity has also assisted in providing help and equipment to the areas of Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Siberia, Ghana, Gambia, Zambia, Iraq.


SESHAA Supporting the Emergency Services in Tajikistan


Following a successful scoping visit in March 2015 funded by UK DFID, a SESHAA team in partnership with FIRE AID returned to the mountainous Central Asian country of Tajikistan in November 2015 to continue phase 1, of their cooperation with emergency services in Tajikistan... Read more.


SESHAA report on FIREAID launch


SESHAA Chair Alf Wilson and Vice Chair Chris Wood have since 2012, been heavily involved in the development of FIREAID, which has now received funding from the Department for International Development (DfID)... Read more.


SESHAA enter their 21st year of operations


Over the past 20 years the SESHAA team has provided training and support all over the world and continues to do so. On the 22nd of March 2015 we have completed 20 years of operations. Have look to see where they have been and what amazing work has been carried out.

SESHAA 1995 to 2016 presentation


Objectives of SESHAA


The relief of poverty and hardship and sickness of refugees and victims of oppression, violent conflict or natural disaster anywhere in the World, in particular by:

  1. The provision and transportation of humanitarian aid; and
  2. By establishing technical and professional aid, assistance and exchanges of resources and personnel to locations and organisations deemed to be in need of such support.

Staffordshire Emergency Services Humanitarian Aid Association (SESHAA) an International Aid Association based here in the Staffordshire moorlands.

The management team of this charity are also from the Moorlands, the Chairman is Alfred (Alf) Wilson, former Fire and Rescue Service Area Commander for the Moorlands, Vice Chairman is Councillor Chris Wood, councillor for Biddulph West and Labour Lead, Gary Dumighan is a Fire fighter at Leek Fire Station and Paul Radcliffe is also a fire fighter with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

SESHAA) was founded in 1995 and became a registered UK charity in 1998, now in their 21st year; the association have been active in areas of the world that are affected by conflict, humanitarian or natural disaster. Areas include Albania, Bosnia, Bangladesh, Croatia, Jamaica, Kashmir, Kenya, Malawi (South East Africa), Macedonia, Poland, Tajikistan, Uganda, Volgograd (South Russia) the charity has also assisted in providing help and equipment to the areas of Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Siberia, Ghana, Gambia, Zambia and Iraq.

Although the charity is led by Fire and Rescue Service personnel, both serving and retired, the teams that go out to the areas of need are from Fire and Rescue, Police and Ambulance services.

SESHAA’s first mission was carried out in partnership with UK Med, North Staffordshire Trauma Centre in February 1996 ‘Operation Phoenix’, transporting £10,000 of medical aid and medical personnel to War Torn Sarajevo in Bosnia. In June 1996 ‘Operation Trinity’ transported £20,000 of medical equipment (supplied by SESHAA’s own contacts) to a hospital in Sarajevo and also retrieved UK med equipment that was left from a previous mission.

A mission to Librahzd, Albania took place in August 1997, the team were unable to enter Albania safely due to the war, the aid was stored with the Italian Fire Service in Bari, Southern Italy, until negotiation were made to try to restore the mission. In September 1997 all of the equipment was taken to Librahzd by SESHAA and contacts via the UN in Rome.

A follow-up mission to Librahzd was planned for October 1997, due to the civil war and the ferocity of the fighting, entry was halted, the plan was abandoned and the mission was rescheduled to deliver the aid to Gracanica in Bosnia.

The team left Staffordshire for Bosnia in October 1997 to deliver full fire kit and to assess the area for fire fighting capabilities. They carried out their return mission to Gracanica in April 1999, due to the influx of refugees from Kosovo flooding onto Bosnia. The team delivered a fully-kitted fire appliance and clothes, toys and hygiene products were also delivered to an orphanage in Sarajevo and Gracanica where a playground was built for the children and clothes and medical aid were also delivered to five refugee camps in the area.

A major ongoing mission that SESHAA was involved in is ‘Operation Livingstone’. The main objectives were to offer suitable fire fighting equipment, personal protective clothing, training and support to an impoverished Fire Service in the South East African country of Malawi.

Following on from an initial scoping visit, SESHAA were to undertake a project of four phases through 1999 to 2002. The project would become a great success delivering training, five vehicles and Fire fighting clothing to the Blantyre Fire Service in Malawi. The project also included the purchase and delivery of food aid to the villages of the Plateau, nr Lake Malawi. SESHAA teams visited 5 villages where enough supplementary food was delivered to last for 4 months.

On through 2003 to 2004, the work would continue by SESHAA members, who were involved in providing equipment to Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Siberia, Ghana, Gambia, Zambia and Iraq and the sponsorship of the Institute of Fire Engineers Students in Malawi, Africa.

During 2005 to 2007, SESHAA would find itself working in Poland, Sokolw Malapolski, where following a request from members of the Metropolitan Police London, they would supply fire fighting and Road Traffic Collision, Deep Water Rescue training and extrication equipment. They also undertook refurbishment of a special needs clinic, supplied educational equipment and toys to two Kindergarten and computers, printers and scanners to Sokolow High School. In 2007 following a further delivery of equipment and training, SESHAA personnel were invited to take part in the opening ceremony of a new Fire Station built for the community with funds supplied by the Sokolow Malapolski council, who had committed the funds because of SESHAA work to protect their community.

During 2008 and 2009, SESHAA members visited Uganda to assess the needs of an Aids Hospital, the Fire Service and a group looking at the rehabilitation of Boy Soldiers, there was also the acquisition and supply of a Fire Fighting vehicle to the Jamaican Fire Service.

2010 through to 2011 the teams were in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, they were to undertake a joint services Road Traffic Collision training course, attended by Fire, Police and Ambulance medics.

SESHAA Macedonia

2012 to 2014 SESHAA have been in Dhaka, Bangladesh, supplied vehicles and equipment to Kenya, 2015 saw SESHAA become founding members of FIREAID, a new organisation in the Fire and Rescue community, an alliance of UK non profit organisations and services, with a mutual interest in providing ethical and sustainable projects and donations of fire and rescue aid and training, to those in need of such assistance. The FIREAID Patron is the Rt Hon the Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, KT, GCMG, FRSA, FRSE, PC , who was tenth Secretary General of NATO, it is chaired by Jim Fitzpatrick MP, former Fire Service Minister. The Chair and Vice Chair of SESHAA are permanent members of the steering group, based in Westminster. FIRE AID hosted its launch event at the River Room, in the House of Lords on 5th June 2014. The reception, which was attended to full capacity, was hosted by Lord Dubs of Battersea and included representatives from political, diplomatic, fire and rescue, humanitarian aid and international spheres as well as FIRE AID’s founding members.

In 2015 SESHAA are involved in a project in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Alf Wilson undertook a joint scoping visit in March, with FIREAID members, to look at assistance and support for the Fire Service, Health Service and Police. The return visit phase1, was undertaken in November 2015. Alf Wilson and Paul Radcliffe as part of a FIREAID team delivered £40,000 donation of medical and Firefighting equipment, the visit also involved a fact finding expedition into the Khorog region of the Pamir Mountains, where the team looked at the need for a 4x4 rescue vehicle and Mountain, RTC and Mud rescue equipment. The project in Tajikistan is envisaged to be of a three-year duration; phase 2 will be the supply of Fire Engines, Ambulances and 4x4 vehicles all with associated equipment being delivered in a convoy from Staffordshire to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 4,261 miles, in September 2016. The instructors will be flown in to undertake the training over a two-week period following the arrival of the convoy.

SESHAA in Tajikstan

2016 is keeping the project team busy, we are now receiving offers of equipment and support from various areas around the country, although the Phase 2 funding has been delayed, post Brexit, a plan “B” was put into action and some limited funding has been received from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The FCO funding will assist our goal of completing Phase 2, plan “B” of the Tajikistan “Project Alliance” in September 2016.

•	The "Expendables" (retired SF&RS members) turn out to pack the pallets of donated equipment for shipping to Tajikistan

The donated equipment valued at £35,000, includes Medical, RTC Rescue, Water Rescue, Heavy Rescue equipment and lighting systems was shipped out to Dushanbe in the middle of August to reach Dushanbe on the 8th September. It is interesting to note that since the initial Scoping Visit in March 2015 and including the last shipment, SESHAA have donated £75,000 of equipment for the Tajikistan Emergency Services. The figure does not include the four stored Firefighting Vehicles and the Ambulance, all to be delivered in the spring of 2017.

•	Kit being packed and then onto the lorries for the shippers

A team of seven, 4 Instructors (3 Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and one Welsh Ambulance) 2 assessors all SESHAA Members and a facilitator from FIREAID will fly out to Dushanbe on the 18th September to undertake a Training Programme in Dushanbe and Khorog Tajikistan.

SESHAA are now in our 21st year of operation and look forward to a successful year of projects.

For further information, to request an application for membership or to offer help with funding or sponsorship please contact: Chairman Alf Wilson on 07531 093273 or email: alfredwilson@sky.com