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FIRE AID's Record-Breaking Convoy to Ukraine

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Ukraine fire appliance and firefighter

FIRE AID leads the largest UK Fire and Rescue Service convoy delivers vital equipment for heroic Ukrainian firefighters. 

Our 7th convoy of life saving fire and rescue service equipment is on its way to Ukraine to deliver vital equipment to Ukrainian firefighters. FIRE AID Chair David O’Neill MBE said

the support shows Ukrainian firefighters are not alone and gives them hope and courage to continue risking their own lives to save others.

Thirty-two fire and rescue vehicles, carrying more than 2,800 pieces of equipment, donated by FIRE AID, NFCC, Fire Industry Association (FIA) and UK fire and rescue services, supported by the Home Office, left from Kent on April 23. 

Ukrainian fire fighters are being directly targeted by Russian shelling which has seen 396 fire stations destroyed and 91 firefighters killed. 

Amongst the 29 fire and rescue vehicles donated are 20 fire engines, eight incident command units, one arial ladder platform, and one 4x4 vehicle. FIRE AID has worked in close partnership with the Home Office, NFCC National Resilience, English and Welsh fire and rescue services (FRSs), and the Fire Industry Association to pull together the largest donation of fire and rescue aid yet. It adds to the 89 surplus fire and rescue vehicles and over 190,000 items of equipment sent to Ukraine via six previous road convoys and a rail shipment since the full-scale war began in 2022.

The appliances, kit and equipment, amongst which are ladders, breathing apparatus sets, boats, fire and water PPE and safe working at height kit are all donations from English and Welsh FRS. Over one hundred volunteers, drawn from FIRE AID and FRSs participated in the massive operations to ensure the successful delivery of aid. 

Ukrainian fire and rescue services have been decimated by the impact of the war and the demands placed upon them have skyrocketed. To date, 1376 fire and rescue vehicles have been destroyed.  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.

FIRE AID’s Chair, David O’Neill MBE, said

I am delighted that the UK fire sector is once again coming together to support firefighters in Ukraine. This will be our seventh convoy of equipment since the full-scale war broke out and tragically, we are seeing firefighters being targeted more and more. Just recently three firefighters were killed during an air strike along with an entire fire station and all its equipment.

We know this donation will help support stations across Ukraine who have lost all their equipment and enable them to continue their vital support to their communities in their hour of need. The impact that our donations are already having in Ukraine is clear, but it provides more than physical protection for firefighters; it shows they are not alone and gives them hope and courage to continue risking their own lives to save others.

FIRE AID Coordinator in Ukraine, Oksana Romanukha, said

As part of FIRE AID, we have been working with the State Emergency Service of Ukraine for more than ten years now, but never has the need and impact been so obvious as it has been in the last two years. The efforts of Ukrainian firefighters since the full-scale war began has been nothing short of extraordinary. What makes their resilience and dedication stronger is that they haven’t been left alone in this fight and have a reliable shoulder of support from their British colleagues.

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.

Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire Chris Philp MP said

Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine has taken a toll on the brave people of Ukraine’s fire and rescue services, who have not just seen their equipment and buildings decimated, but also led to the loss of many heroic firefighter’s lives.

We are now in the third year of this senseless conflict and today’s donation shows our determination to support the people of Ukraine remains as strong as ever. Every western

country must do everything they possibly can – big and small – to help Ukraine defeat Russia’s invasion. We cannot allow aggression to win. I am immensely proud of this contribution and want to extend my gratitude to colleagues within the UK fire and rescue services who have donated equipment and will ensure the convoy’s safe passage.

Fire Industry Association’s Chief Executive, Ian Moore, said

The project goal of enhancing the safety of Ukrainian firefighters has proven pivotal in the success of this team to deliver vital aid once again. The Fire Industry Association take pride in ensuring that the donated equipment mirrors the exceptional standards upheld by the UK fire industry, benefiting fire services globally.