war trek  | 

Two units of Irish fire service to do two-day drive to Ukraine to deliver vital fire engine and jeeps

A fund raising drive has amassed enough money to provide the vehicles

L-R Martin O'Grady, Paudie Mangan, Maura Quirke, John O'Donnell and Trevor Kelliher of the Kerry fire service

Gerry Hand

Two units of the Irish fire service are set for a two day trek across Europe to personally deliver a fire engine and three jeeps to their Ukranian counterparts at the end of the month.

A massive fund raising drive by the Kerry and Kilkenny brigades which included a Go Fund Me page amassed sufficient funds to buy the much needed vehicles and now five fire crew members are set to undertake a two day drive to deliver them to the war torn Ukraine border with Poland.

Firefighter Trevor Kelliher led the campaign to raise enough money to buy a second-hand fire truck - as well as ladders, helmets and other vital firefighting equipment.

He and his fellow firefighters in Tralee got huge support from their peers after the campaign began.

Trevor was inspired by a story he heard on the radio about Ukrainian man Pavlo Serdiuk, who had to leave Ireland to fight in defence of his city in Ukraine.

A spokesman for the Kerry brigade told the Sunday World: "When we decided to do something to help we opted to do something practical, it just seemed that Ukraine was getting plenty of food and clothes sent over so the logical thing to do was send them something they really needed.

"Between the two collections we raised over €17,000, we bought the truck in Carlow it is fully serviced with less than 50,000 miles on the clock, the Kilkenny lads sorted out the jeeps and brigades from around the country have donated PPE and protective gear."

The trip, on which Kerry members, Kelliher, Seamus Sheehan and Patrick O' Dowd will be joined by two Kilkenny crew men will begin on June 28th.

"The ferry from Rosslare to Cherbourg is booked and from there it is probably a 36 hour drive to Rzeszow on the Polish border with Ukraine, it's a long journey so we have got them flights back home.

"The way we see it is while Ukraine would welcome all donations its vital that public service vehicles which have been destroyed in the war are replaced."

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