Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) staff will be travelling to Croatia to donate a former NFRS fire engine to offer support to Croatian fire crews. The venture to Sveti Durd, Croatia will begin on Friday 17th April.

The project became possible with the partnership of organisation ITAP (Infrastructure, Training and Assistance Projects). ITAP are humanitarian organisation who have helped with the coordination of the trip and the logistics involved.

The donated fire engine will be used to help protect more than 50 communities in the Varazdin County. NFRS' lease on the fire engine has ended and it was offered back to the Service by the owners, and the decision was made to offer the resource to Croatian communities. To ensure longevity, the fire engine will be fitted with equipment to enable it to be serviced and maintained in the future, which will help prolong the use Croatian colleagues will get from it.

Watch Manager Kevin Ruane MBE, who is part of the project and will be travelling to Croatia, said: "I am really looking forward to our journey and the vital help we will be able to provide to communities in Croatia. Countless hours of planning between NFRS, ITAP and other organisations have gone into making this project possible.

"The current fire engine they have in Croatia is more than 35 years old and is falling to pieces. The appliance we are able to provide will be a massive boost to the community.

"While we are there we, along with ITAP, will be training the Croatian crews on how to use the equipment and fire and rescue techniques. The NFRS crew taking the appliance to Croatia includes myself, Watch Manager Dave Evans from Arnold Fire Station and Grant Smith, a retired Nottinghamshire instructor, who are all equally excited to take this voyage."

The expected travelling time is roughly three days and the journey will see the team leaving from Newark Fire Station, Nottinghamshire. The route will then entail them traveling to the Eurotunnel Folkestone Terminal where they will cross over to Calais. After this they will head via Ypres, Belgium where they will attend a Remembrance Ceremony at the Menin Gate laying a wreath on behalf of the service. The final stage will be on to the town of Sveti Durd in Croatia.

While the team are away they will be keeping people updated via a blog and showing the progress of their journey. The blog will show the training with the Croatian crews and photographs. For more information visit www.opbalkantiger.weebly.com