Merseyside leading the largest UK fire and rescue service convoy to deliver vital equipment to Ukraine

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) are leading the largest UK fire and rescue service convoy to deliver essential firefighting equipment to Ukrainian fire and rescue services.

The scale of this convoy is unprecedented, with MFRS playing an instrumental role in our capacity as lead authority for National Resilience, alongside MFRS Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan, to lead the coordination of the national FRS response for donations from FRS’s based across the United Kingdom.

Volunteers from MFRS join 15 Fire and Rescue Services from England and Wales in this latest convoy that sees the coordination of 30 fire and rescue vehicles, two mechanics vehicles, and an HGV carrying over 2,800 items of surplus equipment. Amongst the 30 fire and rescue vehicles are 20 fire engines, eight incident command units, one aerial ladder platform, and one 4x4 vehicle.

The Home Office – working in partnership with NFCC National Resilience, English and Welsh fire and rescue services (FRSs), FIRE AID and the Fire Industry Association - has sponsored the delivery of the equipment. It adds to the 89 surplus fire and rescue vehicles and over 190,000 items of equipment to Ukraine via six previous road convoys and a rail shipment since the war began in 2022.

English and Welsh FRSs have donated all the appliances, kit and equipment, amongst which are ladders, breathing apparatus sets, boats, fire and water PPE and safe working at height kit. 100 volunteers, drawn from FRSs and FIRE AID, will participate in the convoy.

Ukrainian fire and rescue services have been decimated by the impact of the war and the demands placed upon them have skyrocketed. To date, 396 firehouses have been destroyed, with 92 more now in occupied territory. 1676 fire vehicles have been destroyed. 91 firefighters have been killed, with a further 349 injured, and five are held in captivity. Meanwhile, the work of Ukrainian firefighters has grown significantly since the start of the war, with approximately 217,000 buildings destroyed or damaged, 18,270 fires eliminated and 4,975 people rescued*.

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 again 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 family – 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.”

National Fire Chiefs Council Chair, Mark Hardingham, said:

“We have witnessed the sheer strength and resilience of Ukrainian firefighters since the day the war began. With the war continuing and the task before them increasingly challenging, the UK and international firefighter community will continue to provide support however we can.

“The efforts to bring this equipment together, and get it to where it’s needed most, demonstrates the very best of UK fire and rescue services.”