Firefighter is part of team helping Ukraine

A firefighter is playing a major part in the international effort to help Ukraine.

Steve Denoon, who works as a Sullom Voe-based firefighter, has joined a group of 14 volunteers from the Scottish Emergency Rescue Association heading towards the Ukrainian border.

The aim of the mission is to supply Ukrainian firefighters with much needed equipment such as ballistic body armour, breathing apparatus, firefighting PPE and medical equipment.

Heading to Ukraine are four fire appliances, three of which were supplied by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, with the fourth coming from the service in South Wales.

Also on the journey is a lorry – purchased by the charity a couple of years ago – that has been filled with 18 tonnes of equipment, including 80 sets of ballistic body armour.

Mr Denoon said it was important firefighters in Ukraine were given all the support they could get.

“The fire service has been targeted in Ukraine,” he said.

“These sets of body armour are going to be invaluable for them.

“There are firefighters who have been killed.

“Firefighters in the UK, with a house on fire, are trained to deal with that. You can’t really train somebody to deal with responding to a fire when they are getting shot at or shelled, but these guys are doing it.

“We aim to be there about Sunday or Monday. As soon as these appliances hit the ground they’ll be going straight to incidents.”

It follows a lengthy period of preparations by the SERA team, and generosity from the public.

However, the team have already had to alter their plans because of the outcry concerning ferry operators P&O.

The fleet headed from Edinburgh yesterday, but quickly had to alter their route.

They had planned to take a ferry from Newcastle. But they had to make alternative plans when P&O halted all sailings before sacking 800 seafarers.

This morning [Friday] they have been heading for the Eurotunnel for what has been an unexpected diversion.

SERA says firefighters in Ukraine are valiantly working around the clock in the most arduous and dangerous conditions imaginable.

Firefighters and fire engines have been targeted by Russian forces.

“We intend to support these incredible firefighters as long as they need us,” an online SERA post states.

Find out more about SERA here.


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