Kirkcaldy man’s third lifesaving mission to Bosnia

Fraser helps demonstrate first aid techniques to Bosnian firefighters on last years trip
Fraser helps demonstrate first aid techniques to Bosnian firefighters on last years trip

Kirkcaldy man Fraser Watson is preparing for his third lifesaving mission to Bosnia to help the country’s emergency services.

Fraser (45), of the town’s Falkland View, is a volunteer with the International Fire and Rescue Association, a charity founded in 2001 to specifically target the fire and rescue needs of communities on an international level.

It does so by supplying vehicles, equipment and training through a dedicated group of trained volunteers who give up their spare time to travel around the globe to help others.

Fraser, a customer services assistant at Edinburgh Airport, travelled on his first trip with IFRA in June 2014, and on May 12 he and a team of volunteers will set off from Dunfermline fire station to drive to Cazin in the north west of Bosnia.

Fraser, convoy commander and David Dawson, an instructor with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, will start the first leg of their intrepid 1500 mile journey through Europe, travelling through Scotland, England, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, and finally Bosnia, a three-day journey.

The third member of the team, charity chairman David Kay OBE, will join them for a few days during the first week, and they will be joined later in the week by Graeme Campbell and Christopher Kendall, instructors with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for the remainder of the mission.

The Bosnian trip will include training in; road traffic accidents; rescue from heights; breathing apparatus, with search and rescue from buildings; urban search and rescue; trauma/first aid and other fire service elements.

Fraser said: “Working with IFRA gives you a great insight into the work our emergency services do.

“I’m honoured to be selected again this year and it is a privilege to be chosen as convoy commander for this mission and to be part of another great team going back to Bosnia.

“I fell in love with the country when I went on my first mission in 2014 and have a great passion and admiration for the country and the people we have the pleasure of working with.”

IFRA was set up in 2001 to help provide countries with more modern firefighting appliances and equipment as well as training. It also assists police, paramedics, doctors, hospitals and special needs areas such as schools. Its aim is to help all emergency services to carry out their work with the best equipment and training possible, and send vehicles we in this country cannot use any more, donating them to countries that need them most.