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Northern Alberta firefighters donate old gear to Ukraine

A private plane will transport donations from a Northern Alberta fire departments to Europe for search and rescue use in Ukraine.
Barrhead Regional Fire Services (BRFS) deputy chief Ted Amos and firefighter Tyler Kalmbach stand next to the command vehicle filled with old firefighting gear, such as helmets, boots, turnout gear and balaclavas, that the Barrhead firefighters are donating to aid the people of Ukraine.

BARRHEAD - Barrhead Regional Fire Services (BRFS) has donated a van’s worth of old equipment — turnout gear, boots, gloves, helmets and balaclavas — to aid the people of Ukraine in search and rescue efforts. 

BRFS chief Gary Hove posted to Facebook on March 3 that local firefighters were donating their old equipment as part of a joint effort between the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and Firefighter Aid Ukraine. 

A charter plane will transport the equipment donated by BRFS and other Alberta fire departments, flying directly from Edmonton to Europe. 

“This gear is outdated for us to use, but we were happy to send it where it can still serve humanity,” Hove wrote on Facebook. 

In an interview, Hove noted the hard hats and other gear can still be used in search and rescue efforts, such as trying to find survivors among the rubble of collapsed buildings. 

“We had quite a few boxes of it back there, so when this opportunity came up to donate to the firefighters in Ukraine, we jumped on it,” Hove said. 

BRFS was able to fill up the trunk and back seat of one of a command van with the donated gear. 

Hove noted that a number of Ukrainian firefighters actually came to Alberta a few years ago to learn about how firefighting is done here. 

That visit later inspired some Alberta firefighters to donate gear to their counterparts in Ukraine, who are badly under-equipped. 

Other humanitarian efforts are also underway in Alberta. On March 4, Premier Jason Kenney announced that the province is sending a total of $10.3 million dollars to support Ukraine, including $5 million through the Ukrainian World Congress to equip defence forces with non-lethal equipment.

Kevin Berger,