Further convoy of Fire and Rescue Service kit heads for Ukraine
25 April 2022
A FURTHER convoy of UK Fire and Rescue Service kit and equipment has now left the UK and is on its way to Ukraine to provide vital support for the Ukrainian firefighters who are diligently and bravely dealing with the throes of war.
The convoy, which is supported by the Home Office, has been organised by UK charity FIRE AID and International Development, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and the wider fire industry.
This second deployment to provide life-saving kit and equipment is even larger than the previous one, which itself was sent last month, with an amazing 21 vehicles making this journey.
Fire and Rescue Services from across the country have all donated firefighting equipment requested by Ukraine to assist the nation’s Fire and Rescue Service as its brave personnel continue their life-saving work in the most difficult conditions imaginable.
The latest figures shows that 100 fire stations and 250 fire engines have been destroyed in Ukraine with a number of firefighters tragically losing their lives as they battle to protect their country from the Russian invasion.
More than 60 UK firefighters will join FIRE AID volunteers as part of the team driving the vehicles across Europe, where they will be received by the Polish State Fire Service before being transferred to Ukraine.
Fire engines, helmets, thermal imaging cameras (to assist when searching for people), generators, lighting, hoses, rescue equipment and thousands of sets of firefighting PPE are among the items being donated.
The deployment of these donations is being supported by funding from the Home Office, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the Fire Industry Association Foundation.
Home Secretary Priti Patel stated: “Our Fire and Rescue Services are going above and beyond to support the effort in Ukraine and I’m proud to once again support a convoy of Fire and Rescue Service equipment being sent to those in desperate need. This is a phenomenal collaborative effort between our Government, the NFCC, FIRE AID and the fire sector and shows how, together, we can make a real difference to the lives of the people in Ukraine.”
Claire Hoyland, project manager at FIRE AID, commented: “I speak with our Ukrainian partners and the State Emergency Services almost every day. Equipment is currently being destroyed, damaged or lost on a huge scale as firefighters face unimaginable devastation on the front lines. The way in which UK Fire and Rescue Services and our members have mobilised to support them makes me so proud. EASST, in particular, has been a huge support, donating essential staff time and resources to make all of this happen. Ukraine needs our help, and we will continue to offer it as long as we are able to do so.”
Ian Moore, CEO at the Fire Industry Association, informed Fire Safety Matters: “Once again, the whole of the fire industry has come together to support the UK deployment of aid through FIRE AID, our charity partner. To pull this together so quickly and efficiently is a truly collaborative humanitarian response from the UK. Our members who have donated time, money and equipment have one aim: to work alongside our colleagues and help the firefighters in Ukraine.”
Response from the NFCC
Mark Hardingham, chair of the NFCC, explained: “To see another convoy of this size go out is testament to the incredible hard work and determination of everyone who has been involved. It really has been a phenomenal effort. To witness Fire and Rescue Services, FIREAID, the sector as a whole and the NFCC work together to achieve so much in such a short period of time is testament to everyone’s commitment and dedication.”
Hardingham added: “We continue to see horrific scenes unfold every day and this equipment will go some way towards assisting our Ukrainian colleagues as they continue with their biggest challenge to date, while putting their own lives at risk. Any help UK Fire and Rescue Services can give will be given gladly.”
The wider fire sector – including the MSA Safety, the Fire Sector Federation and the Fire and Rescue Suppliers Council – are additional key partners in supporting and making the deployment.