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Airport fire engine undergoes makeover before being sent to Albania following EDI donation

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An out-of-use Edinburgh Airport fire appliance is undergoing an almighty makeover after being donated to the International Fire and Rescue Association (IFRA) for use in Albania.

The Volvo Fire Appliance M902 DGV is currently being serviced and refurbished at the IFRA headquarters in Thornton, Fife, before it is deployed to its new home in Koplik, in the north of the country, next month.

The IFRA technical services team have been carrying out a host of improvements including the removal of the old broken fire pump on the appliance which they then rebuilt using new parts.

EDI fire engine refurbishment

Image: The fire engine undergoing a makeover at the IFRA Headquarters

After the appliance was signed off as fit for operational use it was kitted out with equipment such as hose and high pressure hose reels, ladders, breathing apparatus, hydraulic cutters, Hazmat chemical suits, a decontamination shower, water rescue equipment a defibrillator and a medical and trauma kit.

The fire engine is named Rudi after one of Koplik's most famous sons, former Celtic and St Johnstone footballer Rudi Vata, who played 59 times for Albania.

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So when is it being taken to Albania?

The mission to get the appliance to Koplik, named IFRA Mission 72, was originally put on hold in May 2020 due to the pandemic, however it's now all systems go and the training team are all set to leave for Albania with the fire engine on Wednesday, 4 May.

The IFRA Training Team heading to Albania with the fire appliance is as follows: David Hume (Fire), Edinburgh Airport Fire and Rescue Service; Jake Anderson (Fire), Dumfries and Galloway Fire Service (retired); Kevin Tong (Fire), Fife Fire and Rescue Service (Retired); John Greenfield (Paramedic) HART Specialist Event Medical & Rescue.

EDI fire engine donation - equipment

Image: The inside of the fire appliance has been kitted out

After departing Newcastle by ferry, the crew will have a six day road trip through Europe, passing through the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Italy. They'll arrive in Albania on Monday, 9 May before travelling to Koplik where they will start a two week training course for the local firefighters.

The firefighters will be trained on how to use the appliance and all the equipment it carries, along with how to test it, operate it and maintain it. They'll receive sessions on topics such as structural firefighting, road traffic collisions, water rescue, hazardous material, firefighter safety, and incident command.

EDI fire engine donation

Image: The fire appliance has undergone an extensive makeover

John, the mission paramedic, will provide daily rescue, trauma and casualty care training to the Koplik fire crew.

Once the two week training has been completed with the IFRA Team, Lisa Wood, IFRA Director, will officially handover the appliance to both the Mayor of Koplik and the Koplik Fire Chief, before the IFRA Team fly back to Edinburgh Airport on Sunday 22 May.