Massive support from all around CTIF´s member nations to help firefighters in Ukraine
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Aid projects, fundraising and help to place refugees from family members are pouring in from fire services around Europe and beyond to send material help to support firefighters in Ukraine. Several CTIF member nations are taking a lead in coordinating help, and many individuals, including several CTIF Commissions chairs have been making a difference since the beginning of the armed conflict in Ukraine.
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Updated Friday March 18, 2022:
Large convoy if trucks with materials for Ukraine firefighters leaving Britain for donation pool in Poland this Saturday
The United Kingdom´s foreign ministry is one of those who thoroughly has heard the call from Ukraine asking CTIF member nations for help for their firefighters during the armed conflict in Ukraine. According to a press release from Tom Reher at Glinde Fire Brigade in Germany, the call was forwarded to the British National Fire Brigade Council (NFCC) for implementation. This in turn has Fire Aid Ltd. responsible for the management and organization of the project.
"This is probably the largest European fire brigade convoy in support of the Ukrainian State Agency for Emergency Management (DSNS)", according to the press release.
Since last week, "Fire Aid" and "Operation Florian" have had a convoy of (currently) 22 large firefighting vehicles (including fire engines, articulated masts, command vehicles) from all over Great Britain to be handed over as humanitarian aid in support of the Ukrainian Fire Brigade.
In addition, donations of more than 5,000 pieces of fire and rescue equipment such as thermal imaging cameras, generators, lights, hoses, rescue equipment and thousands of sets of personal protective equipment are transported on two trucks.
"The entire convoy of around 55 British firefighters/drivers is scheduled to set off at 08:00 on Saturday morning (19/03/2022) as a formation from Ashford in Kent, taking the Dover to Calais ferry and then via France Belgium and the Netherlands drive to cross the border between the Netherlands and Germany at Venlo/Niederdorf on the A67/BAB40 around 13:00 noon", according to the press release.
Leading the vehicle convoy are Mike Pitney (Kent, Fire and Rescue Service, already running a project in Lviv, Ukraine), Roy Barraclough (Trustee of Operation Florian and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service), Steve Jordan ( Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Operation Florian) and Claire Hoyland (EASST and MP for Fire Aid).
According to the press release, Wolfgang Marin and Tom Reher will over the route through Germany and will accompany the convoy to Erfurt with a vehicle from the Glinde fire brigade. The destination of the convoy is in Poland near the Ukrainian border, where the vehicles and the relief supplies will be delivered to the Polish, to be handed over to the Ukrainian Fire Brigade Association.
This is a project by Fire Aid Ltd. along with the National Fire Service Chiefs Council NFCC. https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/ Operation Florian is a member of Fire Aid.
"FireAid (https://www.fire-aid.org/ is a UK based charity that has been helping fire services across Europe for decades", according to CTIF´s Senior Project Adviser in the UK, Dennis Davis.
The Croatian Firefighting Association sends 50, 000 Euros worth of Firefighting equipment to Ukraine
Nina Francetic reports a another great initiative from Croatia:
As part of the emergency aid, Croatian Firefighting Association immediately sent firefighting equipment worth HRK 400,000.00 (52.459,01 EUR) to its colleagues from Ukraine, which includes protective firefighting helmets, safety boots, firefighting D-hoses, work shoes, flood bags, protective suits, sleeping bags, water pumps, chainsaws, spotlights and firefighting backpack pumps.
Updated March 8:
The Polish National CTIF Committee is looking for body armor and helmets
"Could you please help under the CTIF with additional equipment. Firemen in Ukraine need body armor and helmets. Could you please help in this regard. Maybe the Americans could help. We deliver basic equipment from Poland (mainly from Volunteer Fire Brigades) and Europe."
Contact the Polish coordinator Jacek Borowski
firstname.lastname@example.org +48 601 202 268
1300 helmets and turnout suits collected from Finland
Petri Jaatinen , SPEK's fire brigade director, says that the collection received donations of 700 helmets, six hundred fire suits, 33 chainsaws, 30 modems, eight sprayers and four heaters.
"Finnish fire brigades want to help brothers and sisters in the fire brigade in Ukraine. They took advantage of their own networks and the most active even used their own money to buy, for example, new chainsaws to send to those in need".
According to Jaatinen, the initiative for the collection came from active fire brigade members. The majority of donors are fire departments, but companies and a few rescue services are also involved.
Canadian city filled an entire airplane with supplies in less than a day
In Canada (a recent new member nation in CTIF) volunteer forces within city of Edmonton, AB (a city which houses one of Canada´s largest diasporas of Ukraine ex-pats) has also gathered record breaking amounts of material support in a very short time. According to an article in The Edmonton Journal, local effort to fill a “plane for Ukraine” with urgently needed military and medical supplies met its goal in less than a day, organizers say.
On Thursday, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alberta Provincial Council (UCC-APC) launched a three-day charity drive in Edmonton, alongside Firefighter Aid Ukraine, a group that collects equipment and funds for first responders in Ukraine.
In the Czech Republic, large help efforts are being coordinated, and the contact point is https://www.nasiukrajinci.cz/. According to CTIF vice president Zdenek Nytra, the Czech professional firefighters (in Poland and in Slovakia) are serving as coordinators for the steadily increasing stream of refugees arriving from Ukraine. (Which officially is now close the 1,5 million refugees as of Monday March 7.
In Slovakia, which borders on Ukraine, large efforts are also underway, and the contact point for this is In the Slovakia ua.gov.sk.
In Sweden, the national emergency authority MSB.se is also coordinating the help to fire brigades in Ukraine.
In Norway the DSB.no is coordinating help to fire fighters in Ukraine. NBIF (Norwegian Firefighters Sport Association) - who is a part of CTIF Norway - is collecting fire equipment and also raising money for Ukraine fire brigades.
US city fire service launched statewide campaign on the weekend
We are currently tracking projects in the US initiated to help first responders in the Ukraine. We found one project in North Jersey, New York: Firefighters in Clifton launched statewide collection of gear for counterparts in Ukraine on the weekend.
"What I’m seeing is nothing less than miraculous as they’re working to remove victims with limited resources, regardless of the potential of being killed by Russian attack," said Passaic Fire Chief Pat Trentacost.
Many individuals making a difference
The chair for the CTIF Commission for Women in Fire & rescue Services, Mira Leinonen (Finland) is also coordinating several independent help projects through the Whatsapp group International FireFighters´Alliance - a group of individual firefighters from around the world working together to share knowledge and lessons learned.
Other CTIF Commission chairs are getting involved in projects for placing family members of firefighters in temporary lodgings as they flee into Europe to escape the armed conflict.