West Sussex Firefighters headed to Ukraine with vital equipment

Saturday, 19 March 2022 06:00

By Jessica Hubbard - Local Democracy Reporter

Photo Credit: Neil Cooper

A group of volunteers from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will today (Saturday 19th March) head for Ukraine with vital equipment.

A total of 12 volunteers will transport four, fully equipped fire engines to the country which is currently facing a Russian invasion.

It is hoped that this will help Ukrainian forces with front-line firefighting.

Their journey will begin at 4 am on Saturday and is expected to take three days but further details of the route have not been disclosed for safety reasons.

A spokesperson for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service said: “As a service we are working with the National Fire Chief’s Council and the charity FireAid to support the ongoing relief efforts in Ukraine.

“Alongside other fire and rescue services in the country, we will be donating a range of equipment which is no longer in use to help firefighters on the front-line in Ukraine, through the support of our partners.”

Among the volunteers is Worthing Borough councillor for Goring ward and station commander at WSFRS Roy Barraclough.

Fellow councillors wished Mr Barraclough and his colleagues a safe journey at a meeting on Wednesday (March 16).

Councillor Kevin Boram (Con, Buckingham) said: “The fire service of the UK have had a long history of donating equipment that they no longer use to less fortunate fire services around the world and indeed this continues. 

“There are four fire engines from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service going to, of all places, the Ukraine this weekend and then there’s a whole convoy of equipment from about five or six other fire services.

“Included in that convoy is a remarkable firefighter by the name of councillor Barraclough and I would hope that all [councillors] would join me in wishing him and his colleagues a Godspeed and a safe journey back and thank them for the invaluable work that they’re doing at the moment.”

This is not the first time the fire service has delivered equipment to those in need. In November, Mr Barraclough led a group of six West Sussex firefighters on a mission to deliver three engines to North Macedonia as part of the Fire Service Humanitarian Aid project. This was a success and the engines can now be used by firefighters in Novaci, Kamanicia, and Sveti Nikole.

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