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Two North Wales Police Special Inspectors have volunteered to take part in Operation Zephyr, transporting much needed ambulances and other emergency equipment to Gambia.
Dan McNulty, who is a firefighter with North Wales Fire & Rescue Service and Darren Armour are both members of the International Police Association. They have been selected by the National Police Aid Convoys to travel in March 2022 from the UK, via France and Spain through the North West of the African continent, all the way to the capital of The Gambia, Banjul, in order to deliver thirty five ambulances, fire engines and support vehicles.
The levels of infant mortality in The Gambia are unacceptably high; they are one of the highest in the world and are now the highest in Africa. UNICEF state that over 1 in 20 children between one month and five years of age die, and 1 in 5 new-borns will die within the first 4 weeks of life. These figures are even higher in rural areas. The levels of infection through wounds and amputations are some of the highest in the world, with many people living with open wounds and broken bones, which the resulting infections then ultimately kill them.
Queues outside the main city hospital are not made up with ambulances, but wheelbarrows containing women in labour, Mules transporting injured civilians from neighbouring villages and injured people being carried into the nearest hospital, which may be over 40 miles away.
The state of the fire and rescue service is not much better, with the main fire station in Banjul containing 3 fire appliances, one of which had been involved with a head on collision with a HGV, the other has broken down a long time ago and the 3rd is now aging and needs replacing. Firefighters sit awaiting their fire calls, hoping they will be able to respond and help with the very limited equipment and vehicles they have.
The intent of the National Police Aid Convoy is to provide functioning emergency vehicles, radios, equipment, uniforms and training to this emerging but very poor African nation on the west coast of Africa. Organised by the UK’s National Police Aid Charity, National Police Aid Convoys, and working with the International Police Association we want to make a positive change to Gambia, and help our fellow emergency service staff give the best service they can.
Darren and Dan are asking for any support or donations you are able to give to help them reach their target of £5000 required to help fund this much needed convoy. This can be done through the just giving page link below. Alternatively, if you’re able to help donate equipment, PPE, clothing or even a vehicle! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with them. Any support is greatly appreciated.
Just Giving Page: https://www.justgiving.com/team/DanAndDarrenOpZephyr