FOLLOWING a request from the Home Office and National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), all UK Fire Services were asked to donate any equipment and vehicles that were due to be replaced, decommissioned or disposed of, to Ukraine’s Firefighters.
As a result of this, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) has donated a second fire engine recently removed from the fleet at end of life, to help firefighters in Ukraine deal with the impacts of the Russian invasion of their country.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Ade Elliott, the Service’s Director for Prevention & Assets, who has overseen the Service’s relief support to Ukraine, said:
“The Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority continually invests in new fire engines for the Service, which this year has resulted in two older fire engines being available for donation to this worthy cause.
“The first fire engine was delivered as part of the NFCC / Fire Aid charity convoy: one to Europe which saw more than 20 donated vehicles arriving in Poland in March, with a second convoy just before Easter providing another 20 vehicles.
“HWFRS’s second fire engine was delivered in May in a third convoy of more than 20 vehicles, with our team recently arriving back in the UK.
“The Chair (Cllr Kit Taylor) and Vice-Chair (Cllr Roger Phillips) of the Fire Authority supported officers in agreeing that we would donate the vehicles and two van loads of equipment, and work rapidly started to get it ready for the journey to Poland, where it was handed on to Polish firefighters who will arrange the onward deployment into Ukraine.”
Chief Fire Officer Jon Pryce added:
“The commitment and offers of support from our staff to assist in this initiative have been outstanding and we are pleased to do anything we can to help Ukraine’s firefighters during this very difficult time.
“I’m proud that HWFRS has now been able to donate a second fire engine, with three of our firefighters driving over to Europe to deliver it.
“I’d like to thank Watch Commander Jon Scully from our Training Centre, Watch Commander Carl Pearson from HR, and Crew Commander Nick Baker from Eardisley who volunteered to make the long and tiring journey to Poland.
“This has been a superb joint effort by many of our staff and I’m pleased that we have been able to do our bit to help the NFCC and the national charity Fire Aid.”
On returning to the UK, Crew Commander Nick Baker said:
“Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to join the third convoy to Ukraine. The pride I felt when handing over the appliance representing both HWFRS and my station Eardisley, was immense.
“The whole trip has left me with friends and memories that I will have with me for a lifetime, and illustrates all that is good within the Fire Service in the UK and Europe.”