Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Phil Garrigan visited London last week to meet with a ministerial delegation from Ukraine.
The meeting hosted by the Home Secretary and the newly appointed Fire Minister was convened to bring together key partners who had participated in #FireAid4Ukraine, a series of nationally orchestrated convoys which delivered fire and rescue service vehicles, equipment and firefighting kit to Ukrainian firefighters on the frontline.
The UK Charity FIRE AID, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) in their national coordination role, and the Fire Industry Association were at the forefront of managing the national response. The initiative has so far delivered 60 fully kitted out fire engines into the war torn areas of Ukraine, with more to follow.
CFO Garrigan chaired the meeting, attended by Chief Fire Officers from Ukraine, France, Poland and Germany alongside Home Office Officials, FireAid volunteers and fire industry professionals, all of whom had been instrumental in leading the humanitarian response. Also at the meeting was Meri Akopyan, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Internal affairs, Roman Prymush, the Deputy Head of the State Emergency Services in Ukraine and new Fire Minister Sarah Dines.
The delegation discussed a range of issues, and in doing so the group agreed to continue with their support to the humanitarian effort going forward.
A delegation led by CFO Garrigan will be visiting Ukraine later this year to see first-hand the situation that the fire and rescue service’s Ukrainian colleagues are facing, and in order to secure further support from the UK Government.
CFO Garrigan said, “In the last few heart-breaking months the Ukrainian Fire & Rescue Service have seen 238 fire stations damaged beyond repair, 2000 vehicles destroyed, 41 firefighters lose their lives and 130 injured. It is clear that despite all of our work to date there is still so much more we need to do.
“In the signing of this joint statement we are capturing our ambition and unswerving support for Ukraine and our Ukrainian colleagues who are firefighting in the most arduous of conditions. They are showing extraordinary resilience in the face of the gravest of situations. With the continued support of our partners, and the UK government we will continue to provide assistance to our friends, now and in the future.”