We say goodbye to Julie but welcome to Claire and Serghei!


This month we say a fond farewell to a much loved member of the EASST team. Julie Utting, who has been with EASST since 2012, has contributed massively to building the EASST family and will be sorely missed as she moves on to pastures new.

Since working with EASST, Julie has become an international expert in post-crash response and has been at the heart of founding and developing FIRE AID into the successful multifaceted organisation that it is today.

Julie has initiated and nurtured projects that have seen vital emergency response vehicles, equipment and training provided to fire and rescue services in Ukraine, Moldova and more recently Tajikistan. Since her first introductory visit to FYROM with Operation Florian in 2012, to the latest donation to Tiraspol and Bender less than a month ago, Julie has been involved in the delivery of over 20 emergency response vehicles, thousands items of PPE and other equipment, and hundreds hours of training – as well as developing cross-border and institutional partnerships between emergency services, volunteers, local and national governments as well as many other stakeholders.

Post-crash response is an essential Pillar within the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2010-2020. On average, the number of people who die from their injuries in a road traffic collision in low-income countries is twice that in high-income countries. The reason for this is very often a lack of capacity for road rescue and these patients missing out on vital care. The impact of this work is therefore astounding and has saved many lives.

As Julie moves on to her new role with the HALO Trust, her legacy at EASST will live on. Not only through the impact of her work and the deep friendships she has made, but also through fire appliances ‘Julie’ and ‘Bertie’ – the latter named after her nephew – now operating and saving lives in Tiraspol.

However, with Julie’s departure, comes the opportunity to warmly welcome Claire Hoyland and Serghei Diaconu to the EASST team.

Claire joins EASST from the UK food redistribution charity FareShare, where she developed and managed a project that saw retailers directly donating their surplus food to local charities via an app called FoodCloud. Claire’s role at EASST includes the coordination of FIRE AID as well as a wide range of road safety focused projects including improving post-crash response in EASST’s region of work.

Serghei is a long-standing friend and partner of EASST. He President of Protect MD Foundation and Honorary President of the Automobile Club of Moldova and an experienced road safety professional with a high level political background. His former roles include Chief of the Road Police, Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs and Adviser to the Prime Minister in Moldova. In his new official capacity with EASST, Serghei’s expertise will help develop in-country projects across the region with a particular focus on post-crash response and road safety enforcement.

It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Julie, while wishing her all the luck in the world on her new adventure. But with a warm heart that we welcome Claire and Serghei.