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London fire engine on its way to Africa

Left to right: Ron Dobson (London Fire Commissioner), Tim Ayub, Alexander Frimpong (Chief Treasury Officer for the Ghana High Commission), Lou Gill, (Director of Business Development, AssetCo), former London Fire Brigade employee Isaac Donkor and Cllr Brian Coleman AM FRSA, Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority
Tim Ayub (second from left) initiated sending the London Fire Brigade engine to his family's village in Ghana
Villagers in Ghana will use engine to transport drinking water, fight fires

A fire engine normally more accustomed to racing to emergencies on London's streets is on its way to Africa after an ex-London Fire Brigade employee came up with a plan to use it in Ghana.

Tim Ayub, who formerly worked at London Fire Brigade's training centre, contacted the Commissioner of London Fire Brigade to ask whether he could buy an old fire engine and export it to Africa.

Following his retirement, Tim visited Agona Swedru, the village of his family, 50 miles from the capital city of Accra, and noticed that it was sometimes hard to get drinking water to the people who needed it. Tim wanted to help, so decided to try and buy a fire engine to transport drinking water by day and fight fires by night, if local fire crews needed the appliance.

London Fire Brigade's fire engines and specialist equipment are provided by a company called AssetCo, and following discussions with the Brigade, AssetCo agreed not only to donate a Volvo FL614 fire engine for free, but also to pay for the shipping costs.

The donation was celebrated on Tuesday 24th August at the Brigade's training centre in Southwark. Guests including Brian Coleman, Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and Alexander Frimpong, Chief Treasury Officer for the Ghana High Commission, who were present to congratulate Tim Ayub on his plan.

Cllr Brian Coleman AM FRSA, Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority said: "I'd like to thank Tim Ayub for his determination to get this idea off the ground, and also our colleagues at AssetCo, whose generosity means that people hundreds of miles away from London can benefit from a fire engine used in the capital. As one of the world's largest and best equipped fire brigades, it's a pleasure to be able to use technology that Londoners take for granted, to help the people of Ghana."

Lou Gill, AssetCo's Director of Business Development said: "We're delighted to donate a fire engine for a good cause. We hope that, having been used to protect people in London, it might also now be able to save lives in Africa."

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