The Association of African Americans in the fire service has pledged to set up a fund to train Zambians in firefighting and other fields of study.
President of the Association, Gerald Durant, announced the development when Zambia’s First Lady Esther Lungu visited fire station number 94 in Los Angeles today.
ZANIS reports that Mr Durant said his association is keen to establish strong linkages between the Los Angeles fire department and the Zambia fire rescue services to facilitate capacity building among firefighters in Zambia.
He said the focus of the association also known as Stentorians is to impart skills to Zambian firefighters so that they can operate and handle new fire engines that will soon be delivered to Zambia as a gesture of goodwill from the Los Angeles Lusaka Sister City Committee.
“We are most interested in making sure that we have members from Zambia to come and train with us, and we would love to come to Zambia to train people there as well. We want to make sure that we hand over, give and help them improve with knowledge and skills and improve their abilities to perform as firefighters,” said Mr. Durant.
Meanwhile, Assistant Chief at the Los Angeles Fire Department, Kwame Cooper, has called on Zambians to take advantage of the scholarship that will soon be made available to further their education in order to better serve communities in which they live.
Mr. Cooper, who briefed Mrs Lungu about other countries in the world that have benefited from the associations support in education, said the organization will be glad to include Zambians in future scholarships.
“We have had firefighters from Ghana, Barbados and we would like to expand that by asking firefighters from Zambia, please come to our institute and we can help with scholarships, we think that it is critically important that we share all the information that we learn about leadership, about management about public education for the one sole purpose of better serving the community that we are responsible for,” he said.
The First Lady, Esther Lungu, expressed gratitude to the association for the offer to finance the training of Zambians in firefighting and other areas of learning.
Mrs Lungu said the gesture was a demonstration of love from the people of Los Angeles to their brothers and sisters in Zambia.