On 17-28 June 2013, the Central School of the State Fire Service in Czestochowa hosted the second edition of training for Afghan firefighters. The training was attended by 19 officers from Kabul.
Under the project, which was financed from the “Polish Aid” funds, the Afghans familiarized themselves with fire and rescue techniques and prevention methods. They were also given an insight into the functioning of the Polish fire service, which will allow them to apply the best practices back in their country.
In Afghanistan, firefighters do not have as broad training opportunities as their Polish counterparts. In Kabul, the first fire service school is only now under construction. The firefighters who received training in Czestochowa will be lecturers at the new school in Kabul. This is why during their stay in Poland they tried to learn as much as possible. Their motivation and willingness to acquire knowledge and skills met with much respect among the teachers. What impressed the training participants most was the modern proving ground, an object of envy even for many European countries. Practical exercises in the proving ground were an important element of the project, allowing the Afghans to train in conditions very similar to the real ones.
The work of the Afghan fire service does not differ much from the work of Polish firefighters. “In Poland, firefighters use tools we do not have. I believe that some day Afghan firefighters will be as well-equipped as their Polish colleagues,” Major Qolam Naqshband Bige, the leader of the Afghan group, said during this year’s training.
The training follows up on a project initiated in 2012. Last year, under the first edition of the project, apart from the training, specialist rescue equipment was provided to firefighters from Kabul.
These kinds of projects not only help the Afghans become better firefighters and rescuers, but also improve the institutional design of the Afghan service based on the Polish Fire Service’s experience.