Northumberland firefighters reach Poland with fire engines destined for Ukraine

Four firefighters from Northumberland Fire and Rescue will hand over two fire engines to help Ukrainian emergency services later.

By David Sedgwick
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 3:17 pm
Updated Monday, 21st March 2022, 3:16 pm

The team are part of the larger convoy made up of 22 vehicles carrying over 5000 items of life saving kit to support firefighters in the Ukraine.

The convoy left Kent early Saturday morning and drove through France, Belgium and the Netherlands before arriving in Germany where they rested for the evening.

The team then drove through Germany before crossing into Poland where the Polish Fire Service hosted them.

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Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service has sent two fire appliances to help firefighters in the Ukraine.

The final leg of their journey is underway where they will head towards Ukraine where the humanitarian convoy of equipment and appliances will be handed over to Ukrainian colleagues.

Cllr Glen Sanderson, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “Northumberland has shown it is a county that is standing with Ukraine during this heartbreaking time.

"We have come together to collect and provide much needed items for those fleeing the war in Ukraine, and now we have joined with others across the country to provide essential firefighting and lifesaving kit for those on the front line.

“I cannot thank those firefighters from Northumberland Fire and Rescue who have travelled across countries to get this equipment to where it needs to be enough, and that thanks also extends to our residents and businesses who have come together to do all they can in this time of crisis. Thank you.”

Northumberland Fire and Rescue area manager, Rob Clow said: “The commitment of the four members of our staff to drive so far to help our Ukranian colleagues is absolutely magnificent.

"To be part of such a project is something they should be very proud of and something they will be able to reflect back on for many years to come. The true testimony to the service is that over 30 members of staff volunteered to drive the appliances.”

The team will have covered over 1,400 miles.

An Incident Response Unit will also be deployed.

Mr Clow added: “The Northumberland County Council Fire Authority has recently invested in new fire appliances for Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service, which resulted in two older appliances being available for donation to fire service-related charities.

“The timing of this has coincided with an appeal from the National Fire Chiefs’ Council asking for fire appliances to be donated to the Ukrainian Fire Service.

"It was quickly agreed that we would donate the vehicles, and work started to get them ready for the journey to Poland, where they will be handed over to authorities who will arrange the onward deployment into Ukraine.

“This project has been supported by local businesses and I would like to particularly thank Halfords for donating equipment that will make the journey more comfortable for our staff.”

Fire stations were also used as donation drop of points which saw a massive response from members of the public.

The service has also donated firefighting kit including tunics, leggings, boots and wellies.

Fire Authority chairman, Cllr Colin Horncastle, said: “These supplies are urgently needed by Ukrainian firefighters who are on the frontline using old equipment to tackle fires and other emergencies.

“It’s important for all of us at Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service and Northumberland County Council to do all we can help support the humanitarian effort in Ukraine.”