Bulawayo – June 2023

Bulawayo – June 2023


Dates: 16/06/2023 - 02/07/2023

Location: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


Delivery of phase 10 of the Bulawayo, Zimbabwe project.

project leader

Anthony Burscough

Team members

Shephard Ndlovu
David Barker-Read
Gary Higson
Philip Summers
Fiona Hopper
Collen Munikwa
Joe Poynton
David Widdop
Patrick Mark Barlow


The project

In 2023 Operation Florian completed a two-week intensive training programme in Bulawayo, with over 120 students attending training each day. This equates to over 8,000 training hours. The majority of students were from Bulawayo, with some external fire service students also attending.

Since 2019, Bulawayo has recruited over 100 firefighters. Therefore, the main focus of our training was to work with and develop these new recruits, although we did also manage to deliver some more advanced training as well. A total of 12 courses were run over the two-week period. On successful completion of the course each student received a certificate of attendance. The following courses were successfully delivered:

  • Breathing Apparatus x 4
  • Road Traffic Collision x 4
  • Community Fire Safety x 1
  • Technical Fire Safety x 1
  • Senior Officers Command Course x 2

This programme was achieved thanks to a dedicated and enthusiastic team of 10 Operation Florian members from all over the UK. Most of the group had not worked together before and for many it was their first mission with us. The team got to meet in online meetings prior to deployment, and they were divided into teams and given subjects to deliver based on their areas of expertise. They worked to prepare as much of the course material as possible  prior to mobilising. This took place over several months to ensure the team hit the ground running on arrival.

The students spent a lot of time interacting with our instructors to gain maximum benefit from their courses. The intensive nature of the training required commitment by all those taking part, and feedback from the students was very positive.

The work is physically and mentally demanding, especially with the heat of the African climate, but despite all this, the team worked extremely well together and felt it was worth all the effort to achieve our objectives. Friendships were formed for life and memories to cherish forever.

Without the commitment and dedication of our members who give their time and skills we would not be able to do this vital work.

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:

We thank UK FRS’s and companies for giving Operation Florian vehicles, PPE and equipment, without their continued support projects like this could not take place.

Operation Florian would like to thank Bulawayo City Council for their continued support and sponsorship of the partnership with the charity.