It may not sound like much on paper, but to Portuguese firefighters in many situations equipped with the polar opposite of ‘state of the art’ equipment, it was a major boon.
British ambassador Kirsty Hayes was responding to an appeal put out by the association of friends of Coimbra’s ‘bombeiros voluntários’ (volunteer firefighters) when she set out to source protective helmets which she managed to find through fire stations in Wales.
400 used helmets have thus been donated and they will now be distributed among various corporations in central areas so devastated last summer by raging forest fires.
Said Ms Hayes, no one “could remain indifferent” to the tragedies that this “fantastic country” faced last year. In the UK’s case, it is very personal, given that around 40,000 British nationals live in Portugal, “more and more” of them choosing central regions like Coimbra in which to set up home.
Coimbra notícias explains that Germany and Italy have also already responded to the appeal for equipment, the former sending individual protection, and the latter supplying 100 helmets.
Hopes are that the association of friends of Coimbra firefighters will be able to raise enough money to buy an entire firefighting vehicle for the region, with any luck in time for next summer.