North Wales fire engine joins convoy of UK aid heading for Ukrainian firefighters
A fire appliance from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service set off eastern Europe in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday 3rd May) to support firefighters working on the frontline in Ukraine.
The fire appliance is being donated to Ukrainian firefighters after a call to support the war effort came from the Home Office and the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC).
A team of three firefighters from the Service have set off on six-day journey from Rhyl today and will reach their destination in Poland next Monday.
They will join a convoy of other fire vehicles from across the UK heading to eastern Europe.
The equipment will be used to support firefighters, emergency services and volunteers who are battling together on the front line in Ukraine, often using old or worn equipment.
They have been dealing daily with fires and other emergencies to save lives, people and property since the war started in February.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) has donated two more appliances having already donated vehicles earlier.
They are being taken by a team of five firefighters and a mechanic who have volunteered to make the trip.
More than 75 Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service members of staff volunteered to deliver the vehicles, along with hundreds of pieces of surplus firefighting equipment, including hose reels, helmets and other personal, protective equipment (PPE) to the Polish State Fire Service, whose staff will then transfer the convoy on to Ukraine.
The fire engine doors bear the CFRS logo with the words ‘Supporting Ukraine’. Inside the driver’s cabs are stickers which read: “In solidarity and support of the people of Ukraine, from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service”.
UK charity Fire Aid and International Development (Fire Aid) and the NFCC have already coordinated and delivered donations of more that 5,000 items of fire and rescue equipment and PPE.
In March around 22 vehicles, related kit and equipment were delivered in convoy to Ukraine and in April a further 21 vehicles and kit were successfully delivered.
Stuart Millington, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer this fire appliance to support firefighters in the Ukraine.”
“Many fire stations and fire appliances have already been destroyed in the war.”
“This vehicle was about to be replaced here in North Wales, and we are pleased to be able to support in this way and donate a fully functional fire appliance to the firefighters of Ukraine.”
“Our staff will join a convoy of vehicles from other fire and rescue services from across the UK to support this worthwhile effort that is coordinated by the Fire Aid charity and the NFCC.”
“This vehicle was no longer in operational use and we were pleased to be able to deliver it to the firefighters of Ukraine.”
“I am immensely proud of and would like to thank our staff who are working hard behind the scenes to prepare the vehicle and equipment for departure, but also of the crew who will be driving through Europe to Poland to deliver the vehicle.”
“I look forwards to hearing regular updates from their journey.”
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