Damian Green MP visited Ashford Fire Station on 25th May 2012 to meet local firefighters travelling to Ukraine in July. The firefighters will donate much-needed fire suits and equipment to a village near Chernobyl. They will also train Ukrainian fire fighters in techniques for rescuing road crash victims.

The visit is supported by EASST and by local donations. Mike Pitney of Ashford Fire Station will lead the group of 8 fire fighters from Kent Fire and Rescue Service devoting their own holiday time to help their Ukrainian colleagues.

EASST Trustee Anne Marie Penny, EASST Director Emma MacLennan, Mike Pitney and members of the team traveling to Ukraine in July

“Fire fighters in Ukraine have to cope with equipment dating from Soviet times, including shabby fire gear offering little protection from flames. Our donation will definitely save lives and prevent serious injuries,” said Mike.

“Ashford expertise will help transform the lives of people living in the Chernobyl region,” said Damian Green. “I’m very happy to support this humanitarian initiative, which also has the support of the UK Embassy in Kiev.”

Emma MacLennan, Director of EASST, underlined the importance of the planned road safety training. “In Ukraine 78% of road casualties die at the scene of a crash, compared to less than one-third in the UK. Both training and equipment are inadequate. With help from the Kent fire fighters, EASST is hoping to end this needless loss of life.”

Details of the July activities will be published on the EASST website in due course.