Aug Wednesday 31 2005
On a exchange visit, hosted by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, 2 out of 4 Bulgarian Firefighters requested a visit to the team, to see our equipment and possibly to have an exercise with us. The opportunity arose to invite them to the events of this evening, and we duly met Colonel Dimitar Piskov and Lieutenant Vasil Dimov of the Bulgarian Regional Directorate of Internal Affairs, Town of Pazardzhik, Bulgaria, along with their host and work colleaque of our team treasurer, Andy Graham, Head of Education at Bolton University. Dimitar (who spoke no English) and Vasil presented to the team, a Bulgarian firefighters badge, an ornamental wooden vase, a Bulgarian national flag, perfumes and lierature on their hometown of Pazardzhik. (very near to Plovdiv)The Fire Service in Bulgaria in Dimitars and Vasils region also has a Mountain Rescue function and responsibility, but is very poorly equipped for such a tasking.
GMFRS Kevan Whitehead, shows the Quadpod to our Bulgarian visitors.
We took them to Great Gutter waterfall on the moors above Belmont for an evenings exercise, and they were not put off by the darkness, relentless midge attacks or the wet ground conditions. A social followed in the Belmont Bull, where Dimitar and Vasil appreciated the local Bank Top brew on offer.
Dimitar & Vasil brave the midges, typical english weather, as they get hands on the exercise.
The team presented them both with team car stickers, a team sweatshirt and summer shirt each, team baseball caps, the latest MR E&W Supporters badges, a quantity of lightsticks and some Fig 8 descenders, (no longer equired by the team) They also went away with numerous back iisues of the national MR Magazine.
Dimitar thanks Garry Rhodes for a most enjoyable evening, to come !
Hopefully another exchange visit may be possible next year and we have suggested more time with us, to pass on some MR training over a weekend hosted by the team, fingers crossed we can arrange such an international link. The gifts from our Bulgarian frinds now adorn the walls and trophy cabinet at our Ladybridge Hall base. As a footnote Dimitar was very impressed with our Dragon Lights, which are exceptionally powerful hand held searchlights.