Video report by ITV News Tyne Tees' Northumberland Correspondent Tom Barton
Two fire engines, donated by Northumberland Fire and Rescue to help firefighters in Ukraine deal with the impacts of the Russian invasion of the country, are on their way east after crossing the English Channel.
The two engines are being driven to Poland by firefighters from Northumberland. Their journey saw them head to Kent on Friday 18 March before crossing the Channel on Saturday morning.
Station manager Hunter is one of those on the way. From the deck of the ferry, he thanked everyone who had supported them so far.
He said once they arrive, their journey will continue onwards to Poland through France and Germany as part of a convoy of 20 vehicles.
Rob Clow, who has organised the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service’s support to Ukraine said: “The Northumberland County Council Fire Authority has recently invested in new fire appliances for Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service, which resulted in two older appliances being available for donation to fire service-related charities.
“The timing of this has coincided with an appeal from the National Fire Chiefs’ Council asking for fire appliances to be donated to the Ukrainian Fire Service.
"It was quickly agreed that we would donate the vehicles, and work started to get them ready for the journey to Poland, where they will be handed over to authorities who will arrange the onward deployment into Ukraine."
Fire Stations around Northumberland were also used as donation drop off points which saw a massive response from members of the public. Staff from the Service are currently sorting through the donations at the Seaton Delaval despatch centre.
Chief Fire Officer Paul Hedley said: “The level of commitment from our staff to support this project is truly remarkable and a real indicator of the level of support the people of Ukraine have from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service.
“The task will be arduous, but I have every confidence that the staff selected will do a great job in representing Northumberland”.
The service has also donated firefighting kit, including tunics, leggings, boots and wellies.