County Fire Department Fighting Fires Beyond U.S. Border (PHOTO)

Montgomery County Fire Department is donating personal protective gear to the African Fire Mission– a nonprofit organization that helps fire services in Africa.



A shipment containing helmets, coats, gloves, boots and more will be delivered to Zambia.

“For decades, we’ve been donating surplus gear overseas. … It’s gear that is no longer available for us to use. It might just be damaged or has reached its life expectancy,” said Fire and Rescue Spokesperson Pete Piringer.

Piringer said the gear can not be distributed or donated to other states in the U.S. since it does not meet the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) personal protective equipment standards.

“There are all kinds of liability issues,” he said.

According to Africa Fire Mission Facebook page, the equipment is scheduled to be delivered this October.

As of now, the donations are at the Fire Department warehouse in Rockville and it will be in transit to Ohio where a full container with medical and fire equipment will be in route to Zambia.

Piringer said this comes at no cost to the county. Picking up and delivering gear is done through nonprofits and other organizations involved in these type of missions.

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Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


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