Bulawayo – December 2022

Bulawayo – December 2022


Dates: 05/12/2022 - 17/12/2022

Location: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe And Harare, Masvingo, Gweru, Plum Tree and Mutare


project leader

Anthony Burscough

Team members

Shephard Ndlovu
Steve Snape
Mark Brisco


The project

Following donations of vehicles and equipment to several areas in Zimbabwe, a team of four Operation Florian members visited Bulawayo to coordinate the donation distribution and provide training to local Fire and Ambulance Services.

This was our first opportunity since the COVID-19 pandemic to resume the project and get it back on track. Due to several factors, the team was restricted to four members, however, with the help of local instructors trained by Operation Florian, they delivered over 4800 hours of training to an average of almost 90 students per day throughout their visit.

Introduction to Managing Incidents
This course was aimed at junior managers who were new to the role. The course aimed to give the officers knowledge of how to manage incidents from first attendance up to a successful resolution or handing over to a senior officer should the incident escalate. The briefing of crews at the start of an incident and the de-briefing of personnel at the close, as well as firefighter safety throughout, were some of the subjects that were covered in both theoretical and practical scenarios.

Advanced Strategic Management
Principal and Senior Officers from Bulawayo and the surrounding Fire and Ambulance services attended this course to study incident command at a strategic level and to develop a working group to look at how to move their organisations forward at a strategic level. They used recognised strategic management tools to evaluate various elements of their services and formed the basis of a working party to develop their services and improve partnerships.

Advanced Community Fire Safety
Firefighters and Watch Officers received training to improve their skills when working with the community. They studied ways of collecting information and using it to ensure that safety messages were targeted effectively. During the course, they practised presentation skills as well as planning campaigns and even carried out on-site safety visits in the community.

Advanced Train the Trainer
The advanced ‘Train the Trainer’ course built on previous courses and aimed to give training personnel from several fire stations the knowledge and confidence to be able to become effective trainers. As Operation Florian teams are only involved with the fire stations for a few weeks a year, brigades must have the skill set to enable ongoing training to be carried out.

Firefighter Practical Core Skills/Firefighting Training
This course was very well attended and was crucial as more than 90 firefighters had been recruited since Operation Florian was last in Bulawayo. Students from the previous train-the-trainer courses provided vital support to deliver all of the courses and left our team with no doubt that they had really developed their skills and are now delivering training to a good standard. Students practised a range of skills including basic drills, RTC training, first aid and breathing apparatus procedures to name a few.

Fire Investigation
Senior officers and trainee trainers attended this course which looked at all aspects of fire investigation. Several case studies were used to enable students to practice their skills and the opportunity was taken to explore the current investigation procedures used in Zimbabwe and discuss how these may be improved.

Advanced Technical Fire Safety
This course was aimed at firefighters and officers who have a role or potential to be involved in the enforcement of fire safety legislation. Students practised working on complex premises and reporting on risks to make recommendations to support appropriate risk reduction measures.


All of the courses were well received, and a special thanks go to the instructors from Harare and Bulawayo who demonstrated that they have developed very well using the skills they obtained from the previous train-the-trainer courses.

Special thanks

Operation Florian are extremely grateful to all supporters of this project. Without your assistance these projects would not be possible. You have helped to save lives and improve community safety:

  • Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (Supplied Vehicles)
  • Greater Manchester Fire and rescue service (Supplied Vehicles)
  • City of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • Bulawayo Fire and Ambulance Brigade
  • Cine Tec Ltd (Supplied Vehicle)
  • Cleveland Fire and Rescue Service (Supplied Vehicles)
  • South Wales Fire and Rescue service (Supplied Vehicles)
  • Fire and Rescue Services throughout the UK donated equipment.