Published 15 June 2023

Water Rescue Equipment for Ukraine secured through the National Fire Chiefs Council

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More than 2,000 items of water rescue equipment has been sent to Ukraine. Secured through the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, this vital lifesaving equipment will assist ongoing rescue efforts.   

The fire and rescue service donations followed an urgent request from the Home Office to NFCC’s National Resilience function.  

The equipment will be used by the State Emergency Services in Ukraine to assist in the ongoing rescue and aid efforts as they deal with the aftermath of flooding caused by the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam and hydroelectric power station on 6th June.  

Fire and rescue services responded by identifying available kit within 48 hours of the Home Office request. National Resilience coordinated the movement of goods to a central location. It was prepared for transport to Ukraine by UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) with support from FireAID and the Fire Industry Association and dispatched on Tuesday 13th June.  

The deployment consists of more than 2,300 items from 28 fire services, including type B and type C rescue boats, water rescue sleds, water pumps and water rescue personal protective equipment.  

Mark Hardingham, NFCC Chair said: “I’m proud of the fast response from fire and rescue services to provide boats and water rescue equipment to support emergency responders and communities in Ukraine. NFCC is grateful to our colleagues at HM Coastguard for partnering with us to support the request to this unfolding tragedy. National Resilience and fire and rescue services have worked tirelessly to ensure the equipment is able to leave the UK quickly; once again we stand in support of our colleagues in Ukraine.” 

Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire, Chris Philp said: “This donation is a testament to our ongoing support of Ukrainian services and aid organisations, which are in desperate need of equipment following the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam. I am immensely proud that we are once again supporting the recovery efforts in Ukraine by donating a further convoy of life-saving equipment, including 19 rescue boats.” 

Claire Hughes, Director of HM Coastguard, said: “As a key partner in flood response, NFCC made contact with HM Coastguard to ask if we could offer any additional support, to assist ongoing rescue efforts in Ukraine. We have provided Water Rescue Buoyancy aids, rescue throwlines and water rescue stretchers, these are all key resources for flood response and will complement the equipment provided by the Fire and Rescue Services. We understand that this is an urgent and fast-moving situation and are pleased to able to work with key partners to offer support to fellow rescuers working in very challenging conditions.” 

Serhiy Kruk, Head of the State Emergency Service in Ukraine said “We are extremely grateful to our British friends for quickly finding and sending the necessary water rescue equipment to support the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in this time of need. When we are united, we are invincible. And with such friends as the British people and the government – we will definitely win.”