Continuing from his previous donations in 2012 and 2013 which included a focus on road crash response, EASST Advisor Mike Pitney of Kent Fire and Rescue Service has travelled back to Ukraine in June 2015 to deliver 8 of 16 breathing apparatus sets (still with a 10 year lifespan) and some replacement personal protective equipment (PPE) to Ukrainian fire and rescue crews. The donation also included two Thermal Imaging Cameras (TICs) that were donated by Kent FRS.
Mike returned to the city of Korosten – in Zhytomyr Oblast of north Ukraine – where he has built a strong relationship with the fire service. Crews in Korosten are now being called to large scale incidents thanks to the equipment and training provided during the previous donations. For example, a large scale forest fire occurred towards the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Despite Korosten being some distance from this area, the crews were mobilised to respond due to their enhanced capability and response times. They managed to work at the fire for 2 days and stop its development in an area of Ukraine that could have triggered a humanitarian and ecological disaster. This is due to the fire appliances, equipment and training delivered back in 2012.
Mike took the opportunity to visit the Lviv Fire Academy University where Colonel Ivan Movchan and Lt. Colonel Kontur Olexandr provided a tour of the University and training facilities, including discussion on how road safety training is conducted for firefighters – something Mike is keen to work on locally with the academy.