West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) has added to the special convoy that left the UK this weekend to head to Poland. Once it arrives the equipment will be handed over to the Polish State Fire Service, with support from Germany en route, to help support firefighters in Ukraine.
Among the equipment are six inflatable boats and a box of PPE equipment donated by the teams at WYFRS. This is the fourth Fire and Rescue Service road convoy to leave the UK, providing vital life-saving equipment to firefighters in Ukraine. Earlier this year WYFRS sent a lorry packed with hoses, fire kit, ladders and other equipment which joined one of the convoys.
Dave Teggart, area manager in charge of operational support, said: “This vital equipment is going to end up in Ukraine in the next few days and we wish all our brothers and sisters over there good luck with the firefighting work they are continuing to do. To date UK Fire and Rescue Services and the fire sector have donated 69 fire appliances and tens of thousands of items of life-saving kit and equipment.”
The convoy left Kent on Saturday and includes eight fire appliances, which are driven by fire and rescue service volunteers - a four by four vehicle, hydraulic cutters and a range of PPE including helmets, clothing, boots and eye protection. Also, ladders, radios, dry suits, inflatable boats and generators are among the kit being donated.
AM Teggart said: “The donated equipment covers a wide range of kit, which is in good, working order - and all vehicles have been serviced and checked before the convoy sets off. As the war continues to devastate Ukraine a number of firefighters have sadly lost their lives, and equipment has been destroyed. These donations, requested by Ukraine, will support its fire and rescue service as they continue their life-saving work in the most difficult conditions imaginable.”
The latest figures from Ukraine are:
1,671 destroyed fire vehicles
267 destroyed firehouses
144 firefighters hurt
108 firehouses now are on occupied territories
43 firefighters killed
8 firefighters in captivity
The convoys are organised by UK charity FIRE AID and International Development, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), National Resilience (NR), International Search and Rescue (ISAR) EASST and the wider fire industry. The convoys have also been supported by the Home Office and other government departments.