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Firetruck in Kruševo - Mission Accomplished!
Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Visit at the fire station Nidau/IpsachDuring the five days Blagoja , Tome and Toni stayed in Switzerland their agenda was rather busy.  After the instruction session at Brändle AG on Thursday, they were invited to visit the Fire Department of Nidau/Ipsach on Friday, where they were received very cordially by commander-in-chief Kurt Schwab and his crew.  Not only could they visit the entire fire station and the newly created fire fighter museum on the upper floor, but they were also invited to show (under the watchful eyes of the local experts) in practice what they had learned the day before at Brändle about the use of their "new" firetruck.  But that's not all!  During the weekend (during which our three guests from Kruševo had the occasion to get to know Switzerland from the more touristic side) commander Schwab went on search (in his fire station and that of the neighboring villages) for good used surplus equipment, which could be given to the fire department of Kruševo.  This way on Monday evening, the Macedonian firemen could fill their (previouly empty) firetruck with best quality Swiss fire-fighter gear: firehoses, nozzles, manifolds, flame-resistant jackets, helmets, belts, etc.. yes, even an 10m aluminium extension ladder to top the firetruck's roof!  Great many thanks to commander Kurt Schwab, the fire brigades of Nidau/Ipsach and of the neighboring villages for this fantastic proof of solidarity for their Macedonian coleages!!!

Arrival in KruševoOn Tuesday September 2nd the long journey began.  Before sunrise, at 5 o'clock, Blagoja, Tome and Toni left Biel with the firetruck, heading for Macedonia, where they arrived three days later - exhausted but happy.  But the most tiring was not the driving but the many border crossings, at each of them some new bureaucratic problems came up and had to be resolved.

Filling the tank at the lakeLate on Thursday evening the firetruck finally arrived in Kruševo, where it was welcomed by Kruševo's Mayor Lefkija Gažoska, the fire brigade and a big crowd of curious spectators.   Unfortuntely the the firetruck could only stay a few hours in its new home town.  In the wee hours of Friday morning Toni and Tome had to return the truck to Skopje for the final customs clearance. But in Macedonia it's red tape all the way - so it was impossible to get the necessaary papers before the (long) weekend, so -to the big disappointment of all- it got Tuesday before all formalities were settled.  What a pity - this way the planned official handover on September 8 (the Macedonian National Holiday and the Liberation Day for Kruševo) fell through.

 Instructing the fellow firemen On Wednesday morning Tome and Toni could at last show their fellow fire fighters all the technical details of the new fire engine and train with them the correct use of the freshly overhauled fire pump. At the end, fire chief Zore Krsteski tested the newly acquired skills of his men with a fire drill ( MPG video clip small 4MB , large 23MB, photos can be found in our picture gallery).

It is now in the hands of the Municipality of Kruševo to find or build a suitable garage for their "new" firetruck, so that the vehicle is not parked outside come rain or shine, as was the case with its predecessors.    The Mayor as well as the fire-chief have promised us, to bundle their forces to resolve this open issue in the near future.

The fire department, the Mayor and the entire population of Kruševo express their deep gratitude to all who have helped this for them so important wish to become true!

Additional pictures from our firetruck project and the corresponding 55th GGBS Delegation to Kruševo you can finden in our photo galleriy .
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