June 13th, 2024

City donations heading to Ukraine

By Lethbridge Herald on April 11, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman City officials and members of the Lethbridge fire department stand Monday next to collected safety and medical equipment ready to send to Ukraine.

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – Lethbridge Herald

Representatives from Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services and Lethbridge City Council gathered Monday to load five pallets of supplies to be sent to Ukraine. 

Last month City council gave the green light to Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services to donate surplus items to relief efforts in Ukraine, after council voted unanimously to support the initiative following a presentation by Fire Chief Greg Adair.

This initiative follows on the heels of an effort by retired fire captain Paul Wasylewich to secure items from fire departments across Alberta to help Ukraine. The commitment has no cost to the City since the items have no market or operational value.

Items identified for donation include disposable wound care items, medical kits, personal protective equipment, helmets, gloves, boots and retired safety equipment.

The items collected were packed into five pallets that were loaded Monday at the City of Lethbridge Central Stores, to be shipped to Calgary and Edmonton where they will be transported to Ukraine. 

“We’re very grateful for the donation from the city,” said Wasylewich. 

He said some of the gear collected here will make its way directly to the Ukraine and protective gear from Edmonton through an organization they are affiliated with called Firefighter Aid Ukraine. 

“The breathing packs will go from Edmonton directly to Ukraine to a depo there that they distribute it from. Some of the medical equipment goes to Calgary, its Canadian Mercy ships it out and they’ve already got hospitals allocated,” said Wasylewich.

He said he sent out a list of the items they are shipping last week and they have been allocated to specific hospitals in the Ukraine already. 

Lethbridge Fire Deputy Chief Kelly L’Hirondelle said Paul has been instrumental in reaching out and contacting them to be able to put this donation together. He said it was a no-brainer when he asked for help, they immediately sprang into action. 

“For us it’s hard to imagine what it’s like to try and go to a fire while you’re being shot at, or when your fire station has been levelled, or your family’s been evacuated and yet you’re still responding to people in need, so it’s pretty easy for us to make those decisions and to support it,” said L’Hirondelle. 

He said the items donated were all from Lethbridge Fire and the city, which did not currently meet their certification for PPE here in North America. It was surplus that they were going to use for training or donate to Mexico like they have in the past. 

– with files from Al Beeber

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