Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service are helping to transport fire kit and equipment to firefighters tackling destruction in Ukraine. The North East brigade are supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) in the national effort to provide support to their counterparts working on the front line.
Donations to be provided to them include fire engines, thermal imaging cameras for finding victims, generators, lighting, hoses, rescue equipment and PPE.
The NFCC have revealed that more than 5,000 items have been donated by fire and rescue services from across the UK.
And staff at TWFRS are today (Friday, 11 March) driving their donations down to Kent in a lorry provided by Gateshead haulage company owner Tony Carter of Tony Carter Transport Limited.
From there they will be transported to the front line in Ukraine by the NFCC and the charity FIRE AID.
It is hoped the vehicles and equipment will help bolster Ukrainian firefighters who are trying to save lives amid the destruction of the war raging across the country.
TWFRS Chief Fire Officer, Chris Lowther, today said he was proud to see how fire and rescue services across the country had come together to offer support.
He said: ‘The response from communities across the country, and here in Tyne and Wear, has been incredible but it is not surprising to me.
‘Time and time again we come together as a nation to answer the call in a time of crisis and provide support and an emergency response in people’s time of need.
‘As a fire and rescue service we play an important role in a humanitarian response and we will do our bit to provide that to communities and emergency responders in Ukraine.
‘Our firefighters and staff have worked hard in recent days to gather equipment, package it and drive it down to Kent to be delivered to the front line.
‘But that also wouldn’t be possible without the support of Tony Carter who has provided us with the transport to deliver those goods to our NFCC colleagues.
‘To echo the words of the NFCC Chair, Mark Hardingham, this is our sector at its very best – selflessly working together and supporting one other for the greater good.’
Claire Hoyland, from FIRE AID, added: ‘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.’
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 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: www.justgiving.com/campaign/KeepUkraineFireFightersSafe