Rotary International District 1290
Home | Overseas Project Team
Welcome to the D1290 Overseas Project Team (OPT). Since 1999 the OPT has completed 61 Projects. The OPT provides Fire and Rescue vehicles with associated fire fighting equipment, ambulances, hospital equipment, and other valuable equipment. We have recently undertaken other roles such as support for Farming in Kosova, this interest is growing rapidly. The OPT also undertakes a number of support activities in several countries in Eastern Europe i.e. Belarus, Croatia, Albania and Kosova and possibly further afield in Moldova and several countries in Africa have been well supported by the OPT to date. Find out more by watching the OPT Video. and viewing our Photo Gallery. If you wish to help us or join the team please contact any of the OPT team below..
A convoy of 13 tons of aid left Cornwall on Friday 14th June bound for Kosova http://www.rotary-ribi.org/districts/page.php?PgID=372260&DistrictNo=1290
Attached is a link to the latest update June 2013 http://www.rotary-ribi.org/adminsection/dist-admin/dist-cttee/distcttee-pages_Update.php?PgID=370050&DistCtteeID=355
Attached is the latest update for May 2013 http://www.rotary-ribi.org/districts/page.php?PgID=362797&DistrictNo=1290
Update 27th October 2012
Barry Kressinger has just returned from 8 days in Kosova and Rob Collins is still in Pristina.
Each of this year’s 3 projects have been a terrific success from many points of view and we should be proud of what we have achieved. We are now talking at Ministerial level and have been asked to provide training for what is to become Kosova’s national fire service. Rob has already made a start and is training representatives of every fire station in The Republic. On completion of each session their new breathing appartaus (courtesy of the OPT) is being distribiuted. Rob is doing a magnificent job and returns to the UK on Monday (29th). There is much more work to be done if we accept the challenge.
This year has been the busiest known for forest fires in Kosova and our three Land Rovers have been in almost daily use during the hot summer months – they have been a tremendous asset to Gjakova, Peja and Podujevo.
Our computers are now up and running in 6 schools with the 7th still deciding how to arrange their computer cabinet (classroom). Believe me it was a real pleasure to see pupils using and valuing the equipment we supplied. The Astra van is now in use at Klina for very sound reasons and it is so very much appreciated by hospital staff who have old and virtually useless vehicles to support their work. The minibus has yet to be registered as a Kosova vehicle but should be on the road soon.
The District 1290 Overseas Project Team now has a presence on Twitter. Follow the latest updates regarding the convoys Follow @Rotary1290OPT
Former firefighting equipment donated by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has arrived in Kosovo following a six day journey across Europe by Rotary International.
The equipment delivered Handover of the equipment
Organised by Rotary International Overseas Project Team District 1290 (OPT), the 38 tonne articulated lorry full of equipment set off from Liskeard Fire Station in mid September having been carefully loaded by members of the OPT team and a local firefighter.On arrival at Kosovo’s Agency of Emergency Management the cargo, which included breathing apparatus sets, firefighting hoses and uniforms, was greeted by Ismet Ibishi, Deputy Minister of the Kosovo Ministry of the Interior.
The equipment will now be distributed among the country’s 27 fire stations, said Barry Kressinger, Rotary International OPT coordinator.
“The redundant equipment will be of fantastic value to other users in growing countries abroad,” said Barry. “The team took three hours to load the vehicle with the help of many Rotarians and a serving fire officer from Liskeard. It was an extremely rewarding day and one that has all of us smiling with a terrific sense of achievement, and knowing in the future all this equipment will be in use within weeks and will be saving lives in the future.
“On behalf of Rotary International OPT, I would once again like to recognise the constant joint working together of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service. Their cooperation has helped us in very many ways as a team to complete our mission to assist others, where we can, that are not as fortunate as us.”
Councillor Lance Kennedy, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for community safety and public protection, added; “As ever, I am pleased that we are able to help our colleagues in the wider fire service community and that they can benefit from our redundant equipment. While we are able to invest in new technologies and updated equipment, this is not the same experience for many countries where fire and rescue services are developing.”
The Rotary International Overseas Project Team (OPT) and Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) set off on a 1800 mile trip to Albania on 11 May 2012, to hand over three former fire appliances to the country’s fire service.
The team arrive at the Kosova border mid day on Wednesday 16 May 2012 and handover the vehicles on Thursday 17 May.
The vehicles (pictured above) will be homed at three locations in Albania:
Gjakova (2nd largest city in Kosova)
The drivers are 6 Rotarians and 2 CFRS personnel: Pete Robinson (Bodmin), Kim Kinvig (Launceston), Peter Scott (Falmouth), Mike Dodd (Wadebridge), Derek Hall and Howard Hollingsbee (St. Ives Bay), Rob Collins (Liskeard Community Fire Station Manager) and Chris Ellis (CFRS Mechanic).
Kosova continues to struggle to rebuild its infrastructure following the devastating war with Serbia that ended in 1999. In particular, fire fighting services are poor and Rotary International’s overseas project team has done much over the years to provide modern equipment and training to the republic with the generous support and help of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service.
Forest fires are a real problem during the hot summer months and very few fire stations have 4 x 4 vehicles to transport firefighters to the scene. Some stations have to tackle as many as 400 forest fires each year.”
While these vehicles have come to the end of their operational role at CFRS, they will continue to help save lives.
Rtn Barry Kressinger (Coordinator – Overseas Project Team) and his wife, Bridie, have just returned from 8 days in The Republic of Kosova reviewing past projects and planning future ones. Their time included travel to many parts of The Republic, endless meetings with Municipal Mayors, school head teachers and a meeting with The Republic’s Minister of Internal Affairs in Pristina.
Looking back over the visit, Barry commented “We were delighted to see just how successful our past projects have been in Kosova and are very proud of the achievements of the OPT. However, schools are very poorly equipped computer-wise with many schools of 2000 plus pupils studying in a two-shift system having access to less than a dozen old and very slow computers. Generally fire fighting equipment is of a poor standard wherever you go in The Republic.”
This vehicle will be driven to Kosova in September 2012.
Further good news followed a week or so later when notification arrived of RI’s approval of a Matching Grant application to provide computers to schools in Gjakova, Kosova. With equipment already in storage and the buying power of the Matching Grant the OPT will be able to provide 150 plus computers for the 7000 students of Gjakova. They will be also be delivered in September 2012.
The immediate future:
Each vehicle will also be equipped with Crash Rescue Equipment and Hazardous Chemical suits to make them very effective support vehicles for general fire and rescue duties.
In addition to two of our Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service colleagues (one being a mechanic) the Team will also consist of the following Rotarians:-
Rtn Mike Dodd (Wadebridge)
Rtn Kim Kinvig (Launceston)
Rtn Peter Robinson (Bodmin)
Rtns Derek Hall and Howard Hollinsbee (St Ives Bay)
Rtn Peter Scott (Falmouth)
2) In August 2012 three Team members will be travelling to Kraljevica, Croatia to undertake renovation work and decoration of a home/hospital for children suffering from cerebral palsy. The Team will be accompanied by 10 or so police cadets and 2 – 3 of their leaders. We have had a long connection with Kraljevica and this will be a great opportunity to help Dr Anna and her staff once more.
3) The Team are also looking at the idea of hiring an artic to convey the large quantity of fire fighting equipment we have in our store in one go. The equipment – worth around £100,000 – looks impressive but it is of no use until it can be distributed amongst fire stations within Kosova and used operationally. The Team only has one problem to overcome - cash !!!!!
If you would like to have more information about the workings and plans of the Overseas Project Team please contact:
Rtn Barry Kressinger tel: 01566-776136 Email: email@example.com