Minister Xhacka, General Shehu, Distinguished Guests,
First, I want to begin by noting the incredibly strong friendship and bilateral working relationship between our two countries; and I look forward to further strengthening those ties as we continue to cooperate and move forward together on shared security goals.
It is an honor to be with you today as we celebrate the presentation of this firefighting equipment. A presentation that symbolizes our ongoing Humanitarian Assistance commitment to the Government of Albania.
This equipment will be used to respond to natural disasters and forest fires both domestically to help better protect the people of Albania, as well as regionally during times of unified emergency response throughout the Balkans.
The forest fires we all witnessed over the previous years highlighted the need for provision of this equipment. Equipment and technology that will enable first responders to react more effectively and efficiently to natural disasters, while ensuring their safety.
Some of the items and technology provided through this roughly $360K assistance package include:
– Thermal imaging cameras that allow first responders to identify victims trapped by flames or obscured by smoke or the façade of a burning building.
– “Bambi Buckets” which can be suspended beneath helicopters and can dispense over 2500 Liters of water directly onto a forest fire.
– As well as, brand new fire resistant protective clothing and equipment to enhance the safety of first responders.
I would like to thank the U.S. European Military Command for their generous support of the people of Albania and to the assistance package.
This presentation, in combination with the many other humanitarian assistance projects provided by the U.S. Embassy over the years, is just one example of the enduring cooperation between the United States and Albania. Albania is a steadfast NATO Ally and partner, and we are committed to continuing to build our partnership.
Thank you again.