Fire service sends ‘poignant' aid mission from Liverpool to Ukraine ahead of Eurovision

Eight fire engines from the North West are joining the UK's biggest fire aid convoy to Ukraine.

They left Kirkdale fire station in north Liverpool as the city prepares to host Eurovision on behalf of the war-torn country.

The lifesaving vehicles and kit have been donated to replenish resources as a show of support to Ukrainian colleagues.

Phil Garrigan, Chief Fire Officer at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, said: "It's even more poignant now than it's ever been."

The convoy took a symbolic sweep past Liverpool’s Pier Head, the site of the Eurovision Village, as it headed south to join other engines before winding through Europe to the Poland-Ukraine border.

Volunteer firefighters from UK charity Fire Aid are hoping to complete their journey by Friday 5 May.

Mr Garrigan said 1,500 fire vehicles and 373 fire stations have been destroyed in Ukraine since fighting began.

Sixty-seven firefighters have been killed, 215 have been injured and five are in captivity.

The donated equipment includes helmets, ladders, hoses, breathing apparatus, thermal imaging cameras and cutting machinery.

Eurovision-branded clothing has been included in the aid package. Credit: Good Morning Britain

Eurovision-branded clothing has also been included in the offering.

Mr Garrigan added: "You talk about Eurovision and being united by music, from a fire and rescue service point of view we're united by the desire to save people and protect people.

“That extends to colleagues in the Ukraine as much as it does locally.

"The UK Fire and Rescue Service is doing the best it possibly can to support the Ukrainian firefighters, our colleagues, during the crisis."

It is one year since the UK Fire and Rescue Service sent its first aid convoys to Ukraine.

Since then, a total of 90 engines and 160,000 pieces of equipment have been donated.

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