Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is joining a national convoy to deliver thousands of items of kit and equipment to support firefighters on the frontline in Ukraine.
The Service is working with UK charity FIRE AID and International Development (FIRE AID), and the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), which is coordinating donations of more than 5,000 items of fire and rescue equipment and PPE.
GMFRS is donating two fire engines and a hydraulic platform, which are no longer in use in Greater Manchester, to the cause. Nine volunteers from across the service will join a convoy consisting of 15 fire engines and two lorries of equipment, which will depart on March 19.
Chief Fire Officer Dave Russel said: “The devastating scenes in Ukraine have moved everyone across GMFRS and the fire service family, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the offers of support from colleagues who want to do all they can to support the people of Ukraine .
“I’m immensely proud of our involvement in this national drive to support our fellow firefighters on the frontline. I want to thank everyone who has worked hard to coordinate this response, whether gathering the equipment, coordinating the logistics or volunteering to be part of the convoy. This is the fire service at its best.”
More than 40 UK fire service personnel 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 and 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.
Eighteen fire engines, 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 service across the UK has stepped in to support these efforts.
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.