June 25th, 2024

Firefighter Aid Ukraine shipping supplies to assist war effort


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on February 4, 2023.

Submitted photo - Grant and Paul Wasylewich look over donated gear. Firefighter Aid Ukraine continues to collect donations to support those on the front lines with protective gear to do the job safely.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Firefighter Aid Ukraine continues to collect donations to support those on the front lines with protective gear they need to do the job safely.

Retired Lethbridge Fire/EMS employee Paul Wasylewich and his wife Cori, are looking after the south area while their son Grant Wasylewich is looking after the Red Deer area, collecting donations for the head office in Edmonton to be shipped to Ukraine.

“To date we’ve sent almost 10,000 full sets of fire gear, protective gear. A huge volume (of) ballistic vests, hazmat suits, building structural collapse which obviously they need now and lots of collapse equipment, vehicle extrication, huge amount of medical and hospital supplies and two dialysis machines,” said Wasylewich.

He said it is all about supporting first responders, hospitals and giving them the equipment they need. Wasylewich said the south area has been very generous.

“From this area we’ve sent over 400 full sets of fire gear and 60 ballistic vests,” said Wasylewich.

He said even though that has been a fantastic help, they still need more. Not only supply donations, but also monetary donations to cover the shipping costs, as well as volunteered time.

“What we’re trying to do is to create awareness about Firefighter Aid Ukraine, because we do need some more volunteers to help occasionally load and unload and gather equipment and then we do the rest,” said Wasylewich.

He said members of the community have stepped up to help in various ways, including some local businesses.

“I would like to acknowledge Flaman Lethbridge, as they’ve donated a 8×20 cargo trailer for us. We’ve used it at least six times now and it’s been full every time, and Davis Pontiac has donated a truck to pull the trailer up to Calgary,” said Wasylewich.

He said the donations are then shipped to Edmonton and from there, they fly the supplies to an undisclosed location in Ukraine where it gets distributed.

“Ukraine has a National Fire EMS system. They have a warehouse, and they disperse it, so the gear goes to every corner of Ukraine based on the needs, so really they do a triage of this stuff we send and they send it to where it is needed more urgently,” said Wasylewich.

He said those interested in donating their time could contact him via email at medmstr@telusplanet.net.

They will also be hosting an information evening on Feb. 16 from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Crossings branch of the Lethbridge Public Library.

More information about Firefighter Aid Ukraine can be found on their website https://www.firefighteraidukraine.com

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