International Fire and Rescue Association (IFRA) was established in 2002. We are a UK based charity set up to assist Firefighters and Emergency Services worldwide.
IFRA’s mission statement is to promote the preservation and protection of life from fire and other disasters, especially in countries that are so affected by war, civil unrest or natural disaster that they are unable to contend with the emergency utilising their own resources or require assistance on humanitarian grounds.
We are a special charity as there are only a few other agencies or charities who specifically target Fire and Rescue needs of communities on an international level. IFRA are Scotland's biggest International Fire and Rescue charity and staff by volunteers from all walks of life.
Our charity targets areas that we, and other charities, have identified as requiring assistance in forming a proper fire service. We are not the only organisation that does this type of work and we are not the biggest in the UK, but we believe we are one of the best.
Since our inception we have provided training, equipment and appliances to:
Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia, Romania, Cuba, Turks and Caicos Islands, Paraguay, Albania, Liberia, Namibia, Panama, Kashmir, Argentina, Moldova, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Chile, Palestine, Mexico, Ecuador, Sierra Leone, Philippines, US Virgin Islands & Ukraine.
IFRA collects any outdated, superseded, spare or replaced fire/emergency/medical service equipment. Anything from fire boots to fire appliances and bandages to ambulances. We then send them out to areas of the world that require assistance.
In 2019 we were awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the MBE for voluntary groups. We are the ONLY fire service charity to have been awarded this prestigious honour.
IFRA receive NO Government funding. All funds are raised by various fundraising events and donations. Our missions are only possible through the goodwill of the British public. Past fundraising efforts include climbing Ben Nevis in full firefighting kit and breathing apparatus. Our Instructors give up their own time to carry out our missions.
We are ALL unpaid volunteers whose only wish is to improve the lives of fellow Fire and Emergency Service personnel in countries less fortunate than our own.
We collect donations of anything from Fire Engines and Ambulances, breathing apparatus, fire kit, right down to boots. We also collect donations from Fire Services, Industries and Hospitals who no longer require equipment or are replacing it with newer equipment. This redundant equipment (which is still useful and safe to use in other countries) is either packed into the donated vehicle and driven through Europe for delivery or sent in containers to be distributed in countries further afield.
We then send a team of qualified members to train the Fire Services on how to utilise the donated equipment. There is no point in giving these countries the equipment and not providing the knowledge on how to use the equipment safely and properly.
The cost to send a vehicle and a training crew to Eastern Europe, for example, is £4800. This includes fuel, ferry costs, accommodation, food and a return flight home for the crew. Up to Feb 2020 we have sent 69 missions worldwide and trained thousands of Firefighters and Emergency Services.
We are always looking for new members to join our charity and assist us. Whether you are a member of the Emergency Services, an individual or a company, everybody is welcome to join the IFRA family. We need volunteers who are committed to helping us carry out our missions and raise the money we need to carry out our work. We always need vehicles and equipment to send abroad. It is hard work, but we think it’s very worthwhile. You can help locally, nationally or internationally.
Without your help we cannot help Firefighters in other countries to continue to save lives.
If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org