A further convoy of UK fire service kit and equipment has now left the UK and is on its way to Ukraine to provide vital support to the Ukrainian firefighters who are hard pressed dealing with the throes of war.
The convoy which has been 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 went out last month, with an amazing 21 vehicles making this journey.
Fire and rescue services from across the country have all donated firefighting equipment which have been requested by Ukraine, to help its fire and rescue service as they continue their life saving work in the most difficult conditions imaginable.
One hundred fire stations and two hundred and fifty fire engines have been destroyed in Ukraine with a number of firefighters tragically losing their lives as they battle to protect their country.
More than 60 UK firefighters will join FIRE AID volunteers as part of the team driving the vehicles across Europe, where it will be received by the Polish State Fire Service before it is transferred to Ukraine.
Fire engines, helmets, thermal imaging cameras to assist when searching for people, generators, lighting, hose, 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, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, and the FIA Foundation.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said: “Our fire and rescue services are going above and beyond to support the effort in Ukraine and I am proud to once again support a convoy of fire service equipment being sent to those in desperate need. This is a phenomenal collaborative effort between our government, the NFCC, FIREAID 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, 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 frontlines. The way in which UK Fire 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 this happen. Ukraine needs our help, and we will continue to offer it as long as we are able to.”
Ian Moore, Chief Executive, Fire Industry Association: “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.”
Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council Mark Hardingham said: “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 and to see fire and rescue services, FIREAID, the sector and NFCC work together to achieve so much in such a short period of time is testament to everyone’s commitment and dedication.
“We continue to see horrific scenes unfold every day and this equipment will go some way to assist our Ukrainian colleagues as they continue with their biggest challenge to date, while putting their own lives at risk, with limited resources. Any help UK fire and rescue services can give, will be given gladly.
The wider fire sector – including the MSA Safety, Fire Sector Federation (FSF), the Fire and Rescue Suppliers [FIRESA] Council and the Fire Industry Association (FIA) – are key partners in supporting and making the deployment.