A First in Serbian History???

20 May

Serbian history dates back many years before Jesus Christ… so… if you can accomplish a first in Serbian history,  you have done something remarkable! 🙂

1st female volunteer squad in Serbia!

1st female volunteer squad in Serbia!

My old buddy in Nis, Dejan Mirkovic, contacted me one day asking me for help. He is the  head of the volunteer fire squad in Nis, Serbia. He has been a good friend of mine for a few years. He was reading about the donated sports equipment that I was able to pull together for Serbia. He asked me if there was any way that I could attempt to find some fire equipment for his fire squad! It wasn’t just any fire squad, it was the first women’s volunteer fire squad in the history of Serbia! 🙂

I have noticed a difference in the place of women in a Serbian household. The lady of the house tends to serve all the food and then stand back while everyone eats. Once everyone is finished she will clear the table and then fix herself a plate. It makes me a tad bit uncomfortable. I don’t like to see someone waiting on me. 🙂


I told Dejan that I would love to attempt to help this historic squad! I spent a few days emailing different fire departments in the USA. I had a few responses from some of the departments. My hometown of Greenup, Illinois was one of them that said they would love to help, but they had just donated some of their old gear to a small community in Illinois. 🙂 One day I stumbled upon an organization called Operation Florian. They are a wonderful organization out of England. They are a group of average firemen that decided to help their fellow firemen regardless of what nation they come from. England is a country that has very high standards on fire equipment. They must replace it every few years regardless of the condition. They heard that many countries were struggling with ancient equipment or lack of any at all. They decided they would do something about it. They have grown into a large humanitarian organization that provides fire trucks, safety equipment and training to firemen all over the globe!

1,300,000 Dinars worth of equipment that was donated to Nis!

1,300,000 Dinars worth of equipment that was donated to Nis!

I happened to get in contact with a wonderful human being named Haydn Brown. We started discussing their amazing organization. I told him about my friend’s problem. He promised me that he would see what he could pull together for him. He also discussed the donation of a fire truck to Serbia. They found a city that was really lacking in that department. We attempted to get in contact with many different politicians and important people to get this release form that is needed to donate an emergency vehicle that was manufactured with the steering column on the left side. We worked for a few weeks trying to get a response from someone and had NO LUCK. The organization pulled the fire truck donation and found another country that was easier to get through the “red tape”. 😦 He contacted me a few weeks later and said that he had pulled together 10,000 British Pounds or 1, 306, 100 Dinars worth of fire equipment that he would be delivering to Nis the first week of May. 😮 They even pulled together a brand new helmet, protective clothing, and boots for me!!!!!  WOW!! That was some fantastic news.My friend, Dejan, was overjoyed beyond words!  The equipment was delivered on time and had all the equipment that was promised! THANK YOU OPERATION FLORIAN FOR HELPING SAVE LIVES IN NIS, SERBIA!!!!!

The squad in their new gear!

The squad in their new gear!

It is amazing what you can accomplish with just a few emails and phone calls!!! Spend a few minutes each day trying to help someone. The feeling is priceless!!! 🙂

PLEASE join our new website, Say Serbia! Check it out at . It is devoted to EVERYTHING Serbian!! Please share the link to all of your friends. 🙂


Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Through my eyes


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2 responses to “A First in Serbian History???

  1. Gary Bennett

    November 19, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Hey Charles, great story and very worthwhile job. We put a fire appliance fully kitted including RTC rescue cutting equipment and 50 sets of PPE to Nis the November before you were out in May. Hopefully you managed to see it all?
    Great job buddy looking forward to hearing more.

    • cather76

      November 19, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      Good evening, Gary… Great to hear from you! Dejan told me about you guys! It is amazing what all you guys do out of the kindness of your hearts! You are really making a difference over here. Keep it up! 🙂


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