Donating used gear is not new for the Kelowna Fire Department.
Over the past several years they’ve been sending shipments to countries in South America through the non-profit organization, Firefighters without Borders.
Recently, the Kelowna Fire Department with the help of Vernon Fire Rescue donated 50 sets of firefighter turnout gear, 50 SCBA cylinders, boots, helmets and equipment to Firefighter Aid Ukraine.
This organization was established in 2014, but since the Russian invasion, its need for life rescue and health care equipment has skyrocketed.
The Edmonton Fire Department has been donating to Firefighter Aid Ukraine for many years, and Kelowna Firefighter Bo Kutsiuruba, born and raised in Ukraine, wanted to team up with the neighbouring fire brigade to help out.
Last week, Bo personally delivered a trailer full of equipment to Edmonton which was then flown to Ukraine.
“The Firefighting profession transcends borders and oceans. We are all cut from the same cloth with a passion for duty and to serve our communities and keep them safe. It’s a true fraternity of those in this profession,” said Jason Picklyk, President of Kelowna Firefighters Local 953.
“When we see our brothers and sisters staying and serving in the utmost of horrifying conditions it makes us all want to help them out as much as we can. I’m so proud of Bo and those who donated, collected the gear and for spearheading this venture to assist the firefighters in Ukraine.”
According to WorkSafeBC regulations, the gear being donated has reached the end of its service time; however, it is still in better condition than that being used by developing countries or in this case by the firefighters in Ukraine.
Picklyk added: “I would also like to thank Edmonton Firefighters as well to have space for the shipping of our donation. It may not be a lot of what they require but it comes with our compassion and support for those in this devastating situation they are in.”