GlobalFire sends equipment to firefighters in eastern Ukraine
'This is the type of aid that can make a large difference,' firefighter says
Firefighters in eastern Ukraine will soon receive much-needed gear from Toronto-based charity GlobalFire to help them protect civilians and homes in the conflict zone.
Volunteers spent Wednesday morning in Oakville stacking firefighting suits, boots, helmets, hoses and breathing apparatuses onto skids to be delivered to Mariupol, Ukraine through the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
This gear will help fill in the gaps for emergency responders in the Ukraine, said Craig Lester, one of the directors with GlobalFire.
"This is the type of aid that can make a large difference with respect to the safety of the emergency workers, as well as the community that they serve," Lester said.
Ongoing conflict in Mariupol
Mariupol, a city on the southeast Ukrainian border with Russia, is still a hot spot in the war between Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels. The conflict has claimed more 9,700 civilian lives since 2014, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
- Ongoing war in Ukraine turns 1.7 million people into refugees
"There is still ongoing shelling there and we need to do whatever we can to assist the people in Mariupol," said John Holuk, a co-ordinator for the Ukraine Appeal, an initiative of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
Refurbished gear fills in gaps
The gear donated to GlobalFire came from several different sources across Ontario, including from Toronto and London, Lester said.
Some of the gear might be considered expired in Canada, but is then refurbished to working order by GlobalFire crews to be donated to emergency services there, he added.
"Without the proper equipment, they put themselves in greater harm's way," Lester said. "And [they] may not be able to rescue or fight fires as efficiently as they may be able to with the properly-monitored equipment that we're going to provide them."
GlobalFire has been supporting families affected by the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine since fighting began there in 2014.
This is the charity's fourth shipment to the country.
Today, in partnership with the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UkrainianCanadianCongress?src=hash">#UkrainianCanadianCongress</a>, GF is loading a container with fire gear & med supplies bound for Eastern Ukraine <a href="https://t.co/KR8ns6PqFo">pic.twitter.com/KR8ns6PqFo</a>—@globalfiredmgf
With files from Linda Ward