Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) is joining a national convoy to deliver thousands of items of kit and equipment to be sent to Ukraine, to support firefighters on the frontline.
UK charity, FIRE AID and International Development (FIRE AID), and the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) have coordinated donations of more than 5,000 items of fire and rescue equipment and PPE (personal protective equipment) which will be sent in convoy to Ukraine.
22 fire appliances, thermal imaging cameras for finding victims, generators, lighting, hoses, rescue equipment, and thousands of sets of PPE are among the items being donated. Every fire and rescue service across the UK has stepped in to support these efforts.
MFRS volunteers will be among those joining the convoy, which departs on 19th March. They are part of a group of 40 firefighters who will join FIRE AID volunteers as part of the team driving vehicles across Europe. The convoy will be received by the Polish State Fire Service before being transferred to Ukraine.
When it reaches Ukraine, the equipment will be used to support firefighters, emergency services and volunteers who are battling together on the front line, often using old or worn equipment. They are dealing daily with fires and other emergencies to protect lives, people and property as the invasion devastates the country.
MFRS is donating two decommissioned appliances. The Service is also providing further support through a lorry which will return to Merseyside at a later date. MFRS has been instrumental in coordinating the national FRS response in its role as lead authority for National Resilience.
Merseyside’s Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: “I’m incredibly proud that we and other Fire & Rescue Services across the country have stepped up to offer this vital provision of equipment and kit to those fighting on the frontline in Ukraine. I am of course in no way surprised. Helping people is what we do in the fire & rescue service – we are united in our desire to help and that desire will never be limited by borders. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues in Ukraine.”
Claire Hoyland, Project Manager, FIRE AID, commented: “FIRE AID and its members have over 25 years of experience responding to requests for aid and support for emergency services in over 50 countries. Following the invasion of Ukraine, our members immediately mobilised to gather equipment and aid to donate to their Ukrainian counterparts. FIRE AID members have been working in partnership with the Ukrainian emergency services since 2012 and we are proud to be coordinating this unprecedented emergency response on behalf of the UK Fire Sector.”
The deployment of these donations is being supported by funding from the Home Office, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, and the FIA Foundation, as well as through a public appeal via JustGiving: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/KeepUkraineFireFightersSafe
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 also key partners in supporting and making the deployment.
- The donated equipment covers a wide-range of kit, which is either due to be replaced or fire services have the capacity to donate it. It will all be provided in good, working order and all vehicles will be serviced and checked before the convoy sets off. Each vehicle will be packed with essential - and lifesaving - equipment.
- This is not the first time the UK has supported Ukraine; in 2012, UK charity, the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST), and Kent Fire and Rescue Service, with the support of the UK Embassy in Kyiv, donated two fully equipped fire appliances along with much-needed fire suits, equipment, and training to the town of Korosten near Chernobyl in Ukraine. The initial donations to Korosten have been supplemented and replenished over the years with additional deliveries and renewed training. The initial collaboration in 2012 was the catalyst for the development FIRE AID.