Shropshire Star

Firefighters take third engine to Poland in continuing efforts to help in Ukraine

A firefighter from Leintwardine has helped deliver a third fire engine from his service to Ukraine.

From left Watch Commanders Dave Vickress and Catherine Chesworth, and Crew Commander Nick Baker. Picture: Herefordshire & Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service

Watch Commander Dave Vickress from Leintwardine joined Watch Commander Catherine Chesworth, from Ewyas Harold, and Crew Commander Nick Baker from Eardisley in volunteering for the arduous journey to Poland.

This follows a continuing request from the Home Office and National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), for UK Fire Services to donate any equipment and vehicles due to be replaced, decommissioned or disposed of, to help Ukrainian firefighters deal with the impacts of the Russian invasion of their country.

The vehicle was delivered following its removal from the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service fleet, along with a range of surplus equipment.

This was the fourth convoy to Poland and the Service’s third donation of an appliance.

Area Commander Sam Pink, the service’s assistant director for assets, said: “The Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority continually invests in new fire engines for the Service, which this year has resulted in three older fire engines being available for donation to this worthy cause.”

A couple of weeks of intense planning were required before the team was able to drive down to Kent where they were registered and checked, before the convoy set off on its long trip to Poland to hand over the assets to Polish firefighters and their onward deployment to Ukraine.

The convoy line up. Picture: Herefordshire & Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service

Dave Vickress said: “It was a privilege to be chosen to represent the service and an amazing week – along the way, cars and lorries were hooting their horns in support, and waving at the convoy. Arriving at our final destination, we were welcomed and hosted by German and Polish firefighters, with a special welcome in Erfurt in Germany from the Mayor.”

Chief Fire Officer Jon Pryce said: “I'm proud that HWFRS has now been able to donate a third fire engine, with three of our firefighters driving over to Europe to deliver it. We are pleased to do anything we can to help Ukraine’s firefighters during this difficult time.

“I’d like to thank Dave, Catherine and Nick for giving up their time to make the long and tiring journey to Poland."

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