Improving Post-Crash Response: EASST joins collaborative effort to bring fire and rescue equipment to Ukraine

News, Post-Crash Response, Ukraine

This month FIRE AID arranged for a convoy of six fire appliances and a lorry carrying over 2,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) and seven road traffic extrication sets to be sent to Ukraine. The donation and training brought together 15 different organisations from across the UK and Ukraine, including EASST and our local partner, Impact NGO.

“Over 4,000 people lose their lives on Ukraine’s roads every year. Fire fighters are often first at the scene of a road traffic incident and therefore first to respond and care for any casualties. With improved equipment and training Ukrainian fire fighters are more likely to be able to reach the scene and extract the casualty quicker, greatly improving their chances of survival.”

Claire Hoyland, Post Crash Response and Resilience Officer.

The convoy, made up of volunteer drivers from the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, Kent Fire & Rescue Service, London Fire Brigade and South Wales Fire & Rescue Service worked together to drive the appliances over 1,900 miles.

The project brought together two regions in Ukraine; Zhytomyr and Poltava where equipment donations were split evenly between the two fire services. Drivers from both regions joined the convoy en-route to provide support on the long drive to Ukraine. This is the first time UK fire fighters have driven the appliances alongside their Ukrainian counterparts and it was a great way for Ukrainian fire fighters to understand the challenges of this scale and type of delivery. 

“This project is the pinnacle of collaboration, with multiple charities coming together under the FIRE AID umbrella alongside various fire and rescue services and most importantly the fire service in Ukraine to deliver our single biggest donation of fire fighting aid yet.”

Michael Pitney, Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

The team arrived in Ukraine three days after leaving the UK and took part in three days of familiarisation training with the Ukrainian fire services to ensure they are confident in handling the donated equipment. The team trained a total of 50 fire fighters in road traffic response, ladders and pumps.

This convoy builds on FIRE AID and EASST’s 2019 project, which was supported by FedEx Express Europe, and included the donation of two decommissioned fire appliances alongside 12 modern road traffic extrication sets, and training. These extrication sets were used to extricate over 200 people during 2020 alone!