Fire service sends huge aid convoy from Liverpool to Ukraine

The aid mission, which includes volunteers from Merseyside Fire and Rescue, left Kirkdale fire station to head to the Polish border.

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A huge humanitarian aid convoy of 21 fire and rescue vehicles and 8,000 pieces of equipment has left Kirkdale fire station to make the journey to Ukraine to support the fight against Vladmir Putin’s Russian invasion of the country.

Helmets, generators, lighting, hoses, rescue equipment and thousands of sets of firefighting PPE are among the items being donated and transported by 17 services from across England and Wales, including Merseyside Fire and Rescue.

The convoy left Liverpool, which will host this year’s Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine, on Tuesday (2 May) and is expected to arrive in Poland on Friday (5 May) where it will be handed to the head of Ukraine’s Fire and Rescue Services.

Mark Hardingham, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, said: "Firefighters on the frontline in Ukraine are in desperate need of equipment as the war continues to devastate the country. This fifth convoy means fire and rescue services have now donated 86 fire engines and more than 100,000 items of kit. The determination and pride of all involved is testament to how committed everyone is to getting help to where it is needed."

Merseyside Fire and Rescue join the convoy as it departs from Kirkdale.Merseyside Fire and Rescue join the convoy as it departs from Kirkdale.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue join the convoy as it departs from Kirkdale.

Around 80 firefighters volunteered to help the effort, including driving the vehicles to the Polish border. The Fire and rescue services taking part are: Avon, Cheshire, Cumbria, Merseyside, North Wales, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire Shropshire, South Wales, Cleveland, Essex, Lancashire, Mid and West Wales, Oxfordshire, Royal Berkshire, Tyne and Wear, and Gloucestershire.

Devastation: Sixty-seven firefighters have been killed and 215 have been injured in Ukraine since the war began, says Phil Garrigan, Chief Fire Officer at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. Around 1,500 fire vehicles and 373 fire stations have been destroyed.