The mission of the Firefighter Aid for Ukraine (FAU) is to collect unneeded/unwanted firefighter bunker/turnout gear, personal protective equipment (PPE), life rescue equipment, and medical supplies from fire departments and vendors in Canada. FAU also aims to raise the necessary funds to send these goods to first responders in various locations of Ukraine who are in desperate need of equipment and supplies required to fulfill their duties to serve and protect citizens, while ensuring one's own safety.
As a team member of the 2012 Rotary Club Group Study Exchange focusing on emergency services, FAU organizer Kevin Royle visited several cities and rural areas in Western Ukraine including; Lviv, Kiev, Odessa, Ivano Frankivsk, Ternopil, Uzhgorod, and Vinnytsia. While there, the team visited several fire stations, hospitals, clinics, training facilities, ambulance dispatch centers, and other medical facilities. In each visit, the recurring observations were:
underfunded emergency medical responders attempting to fulfill their duties with worn out tools and equipment
missing or inadequate PPE
broken down, archaic apparatus and vehicles
working out of dilapidated and crumbling facilities.
The deficiencies are the result of under funding due to a magnitude of reasons. As the conflict in Ukraine continues, the situation for front line first responders and medical workers worsens, placing both first responders and citizens in jeopardy.