A delegation from the Jiangsu Fire Service in China visited Essex earlier this month with the aim of continuing to improve and reform their fire and rescue service.
This year’s visit, which took place between 1 - 11 November, focused on the issue of training, with Chinese delegates understanding how to improve a range of firefighting techniques and use technical equipment correctly.
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFR), and the Jiangsu Fire Service signed a Memorandum of Understanding during a visit by a Chinese delegation to Service headquarters at Kelvedon Park in July 2010 arranged by Essex International, the international trade arm of Essex County Council, and have continued to reinforce the friendly relations for the last seven years.
Since the signing of the memorandum seven years ago, the organisations have invested in the partnership and seen positive outcomes both financially and in the sharing and learning of skills. Essex International has continued to facilitate the knowledge exchanges and enabled communication between the two partners.
ECFRS Chief Fire Officer, Adam Eckley, said: “Here in the UK, our Fire and Rescue Services are recognised globally for their safety record and we are always keen to share our techniques and knowledge with other organisations to improve best practice.
“I am proud that the skills of our Service can have a direct international contribution in making the lives of so many people safer. While these visits occur every year, they are invaluable to allow our Chinese counterparts to learn from our high standards of health and safety, training and operational firefighting.
“We look forward to continuing our cultural links between Essex and China and thank all of the delegates for demonstrating such a positive and proactive attitude, Essex County Council for supporting the connection, and of course our own teams who organised and took part in the visit.
Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Cllr Kevin Bentley, said: “We were delighted to welcome the delegation from Jiangsu who visited our county to learn about first class public services.
"Essex has enjoyed an almost 30-year relationship with Jiangsu that has continuously seen great commitment from both sides which has led to the completion of many practical projects that have benefitted both Essex and Jiangsu.
"Our international trade team Essex International, help organisations to take advantage of this link to grow their business in China.
“The active exchange programmes in the fields of trade, investment, education, sports and culture benefit us all, and the purpose of this particular trip, to address the issue of improving technical training in fire service activities and equipment, was particularly important.
“We are committed to continuing to connecting China and Essex and to encourage positive growth and outcomes for our county.”
Jiangsu Fire Service funded the entire visit themselves.