Further convoy of firefighting equipment heads for Ukraine
11 October 2022
ANOTHER CONVOY of firefighting equipment is now on its way to Ukraine. This is the fourth Fire and Rescue Service convoy to leave the UK in a determined bid to provide vital life-saving equipment to firefighters in Ukraine.
UK Fire and Rescue Services and the fire sector have now donated 69 fire appliances and tens of thousands of items of life-saving kit and equipment.
Eight fire appliances (driven by Fire and Rescue Service volunteers), a four-by-four vehicle, hydraulic cutters, a range of PPE (including helmets, clothing, boots and eye protection), ladders, radios, dry suits, inflatable boats and generators are among the items of kit donated.
The convoy will make its way to Poland. On arrival, the equipment will be handed over to the Polish State Fire Service, with support from Germany along the route. Organised by UK charity FIRE AID and International Development, the National Fire Chiefs Council, EASST and the wider fire industry, the convoys have also been supported by the Home Office in addition to other Government departments.
The first convoy left the UK in March and, since then, further work has been underway to ensure these monumental ‘mega’ convoys could continue. The donated equipment covers a wide range of kit, which is either due to be replaced or Fire and Rescue Services otherwise have the capacity to donate it. All of the kit involved provided in good working order, while all vehicles are serviced and checked before any convoy sets off.
Requested by Ukraine, these donations support its Fire and Rescue Service teams as they continue their life-saving work in the most difficult conditions imaginable. Fire engines, fire stations and equipment have all been lost during the conflict, with a number of firefighters sadly losing their lives.
Home Office backing
The latest convoy is being supported by the Home Office, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the Fire Industry Association (FIA), the FIA Foundation, the Fire Sector Federation and other partners.
National Resilience – which is run by the National Fire Chiefs Council – co-ordinated the response with UK Fire and Rescue Services. The national response means that teams and equipment can be deployed quickly and effectively. UKISAR – itself formed from 18 UK Fire and Rescue Services and on permanent standby to mobilise and assist when requested by disaster-affected countries – has ably assisted with ensuring that all kit and equipment is in full working order and packed correctly prior to convoys leaving.
Phil Garrigan (vice-chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council) commented: “The situation in Ukraine remains incredibly serious. By working with our colleagues across Europe, UK Fire and Rescue Services are making a real difference to operations in Ukraine.”
Ian Moore, CEO at the FIA, explained: “Once again, this amazing partnership has meant that we can send equipment to where it’s needed the most. Since the start of the year, we’ve worked incredibly closely to make sure the wider fire sector could offer its expertise and play a key part in making these convoys happen, It’s a truly collaborative humanitarian response from the UK to assist those who need our help.”
Emma MacLennan, deputy chair of FIRE AID and director at EASST, added: “The scale of these convoys has been humbling. To see the fourth convoy leave and know that almost 70 fire appliances, packed with firefighting kit and equipment donated over the past few months, is fantastic. This is an incredible achievement and further strengthens our co-operation with Ukraine.”
MacLennan continued: “This is more than just about assisting firefighters who desperately need our help. It’s also about working with our friends and colleagues who are facing unthinkable conditions.”
The Fire and Rescue Services in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridge, Cleveland, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Durham and Darlington, Essex, Hereford and Worcester, Hertfordshire, Kent, Norfolk, North Wales, Royal Berkshire, Shropshire, Surrey, Tyne & Wear, Warwickshire, West Midlands and West Yorkshire have all donated to this convoy. The Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has provided drivers and a vehicle to transport equipment.