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Firefighter Exchange Programs


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Has anybody ever taken part in a FF exchange program abroad?

It seems to be something the Yanks, Ozzys and Canadians offer but I'm wondering if anyone from a UK FRS has ever done it?

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A handful of UK fire services have done this in the past but you'd be hard pushed to find any now I reckon. Simply put, if there's no business case or any benefit of sending you aboard for a year then they won't entertain it. If you were a high ranking officer and wanting to spend a few months abroad with another service to share ideas/tactics etc then it might happen but I'll be damned if they'll go out their way to send a lowly firefighter to have fun in the sun the other side of the world. It's a shame but just the way things are. Also I'm not aware that US fire departments have ever offered exchange programs? (stand to be corrected).

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I agree with @Jamiejet. Some FRS's are very reluctant to even let their staff go on secondments. I was the last to go on a secondment back in 2013 when I went into CFOA National Resilience for 2 years. I was brought back as there was a lack of officers on the pumps. GMFRS is a relatively large FRS and apart from the union officials we have 1 Station Manager seconded into the Home Office. 

I would love to go and spend some time in another Country, but the fact it is would be seen as a jolly, so it doesn't happen, sadly not at firefighter level. 

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  • 2 months later...

Did you look into this @Dyson as I would be interested in just seeing what the criteria is. As I mentioned before, Ive never known it in Manchester and so interested to see how many actually do allow it. 

I once had a guest over to follow us when I was in CFOA NR and he had come over from Australia. He told us that each year, if you had a good idea, you went through a process and ended up delivering a presentation to the CFO. If he liked the idea, you got 10k and 3 months off to travel the world and do some research. This guy had got the 10k and was looking at HVPs, hence the visits. He flew on to the states afterwards to see their kit. A little different but a fantastic experience all the same. 

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