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Helping African firefighters

Karin Anderson, a firefighter and EMT in Kensington, traveled to Kenya in 2016 to provide training to firefighters there. She also helps collect equipment to send to Africa through Cincinatti, Ohio-based Africa Fire Mission. (Contributed)1 / 2
Just some of the equipment the Kensington Fire Department plans to send next week for firefighter training and work in Africa. (Contributed)2 / 2

African firefighters will soon have more air packs, CPR dummies and a water tank, thanks to the Kensington Fire Department.

"When I went to Africa last year they loved practicing CPR on the manikins we brought over," said Karin Anderson, a firefighter and EMT with the department. "They wished that they had some of those. They do not have supplies like this."

Kensington is donating 12 air packs, masks and tanks that have passed their expiration date in the United States but are still good to use, Anderson said. Gear such as helmets, jackets and boots is more than 10 years old, which is when by American guidelines it must be replaced. The tank has some pinhole leaks which the African firefighters will have to repair, but it holds 4000 gallons and will bolster their water supplies during fires, she said. In some African cities, firefighters must abandon fires when their water supply runs out, and are reviled for that, Anderson told the Echo Press after conducting a fire academy in Kenya last year.

Much of what Kensington is sending was acquired with grant money long ago, she said.

"The CPR manikins have been sitting in our hall for a long time but we never use them because we are trained by other companies," she said.