The move was confirmed at a press conference Thursday.
Speaking to Journalist during a media brief at BCC Fire and Ambulance Services were Operation Florian is conducting short course training for Fire and Ambulance staff, the BCC Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Richard Peterson said they are currently looking for US$15 000 to refurbish and set up all the infrastructure required according to Government standards.
“When we are done in meeting all the Government requirements of higher learning and tertiary studies we are going to register our College and with the help from UCLAN our courses are going to meet the international standards and so far we are already grooming our future lecturers from the tutorials we are receiving from Operation Florian,” said Peterson.
He said some of their staff members will go for further training at UCLAN in preparation of the new college and that the expansion of lecture rooms, kitchen, offices and ablution facilities is what is holding them from applying for a license
Peterson disclosed that there is no college or university in Zimbabwe that offers fire, medical and rescue studies as most of the courses are done in the United Kingdom and other countries.
During the same event, Peterson revealed that Operation Florian has donated two Volvo fire tenders and a container that is 20 fit full of fire fighting, rescue equipment, medical equipment and protective equipment including training and training package that we are going to share with other councils around the country.
Other local authorizes that have been invited by BCC to be trained by Operation Florian include Victoria Falls, Hwange Colliery, Zimbabwe electricity and Supply authority, Lupane Rural District Council , Beitbridge Council, Gwanda Council, Plumtree Rural District Council, Gweru City Council but Harare City Council failed to send their team due to financial constraints.
The chairperson of Operation Florian, Michael Doherty, explained that his humanitarian charity organisation assist fire and rescue services throughout the world who are in need of assistance and that much of their work concentrates on disaster re-building work, helping to assist and support communities to improve their fighting and rescue infrastructure and provide a progressive move towards normality and stability of their emergency services.
“The process often takes several years to achieve; therefore, Operation Florian is a charity that provides continuity and support until the receiving community can support itself. The success of such projects can only be achieved by working in partnership in an atmosphere of trust and cooperation,” said Doherty.
He added that they have a tried and tested model of operation and it is this model that they are demonstrating in Bulawayo.
“The partnership between the BCC, Operation Florian is paramount to the success of this mission. This is further enhanced by the elements of support from Aberdeen City supporting personnel and encouraging the twin town relationship that already exists,” said Doherty.
Operation Florian came to BCC last year and they donated a tender and a container. The other tenders that are available at BCC were last donated by Queen Elizabeth in 1991 and they had outlived their life span. BCC Fire and Ambulance Serves Department is the only council with latest equipment, most council fire and ambulance departments in the country do not have equipment and the available ones have outlived their lifespan.