The City may soon be strengthening its bond with its sister city of Nikopol, Ukraine. Many pieces of aged firefighting equipment might soon be donated to Nikopol through the organization Firefighters Aid Ukraine.
According to the City, fire services in North America use equipment which has defined lifespans. These lifespans are dictated by industry standards like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and manufacturer specifications. Replacing dated equipment leaves the fire department with equipment that is no longer usable by North American standards, but may be used elsewhere in the world.
Firefighters Aid Ukraine partners with fire services across Canada to ship life-cycled firefighting equipment to Ukraine. It’s an Alberta organization that would ship the equipment in a sea container and is willing to take equipment from Lloydminster specifically to Nikopol. The donation would align with the sister city agreement, and Mayor Gerald Aalbers sees it as a great chance to help those in need.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to help someone else out – in this case, Nikopol – to provide for their citizens, at no cost to our citizens. That’s an amazing win,” said Aalbers. “I think there was concern [sic] when we entered the sister cities agreement about what this would cost to taxpayers. I think this is one of the examples of using out-of-the-box thinking that has gotten to this point.”
The equipment being donated includes PASS alarms, firefighting jackets, pants, boots, helmets and gloves, as well as SCBA units and SCBA masks. The majority of it would end up in a landfill if not donated. Mayor Aalbers thinks it’s a great chance to give old equipment new life and help honour the agreement with our sister city.
“I compliment Chief Newton and the team at the fire service for coming up with this. It sounds like we’re leading the charge with this idea and see it as an opportunity to help out. Ukraine and Canada have a long history, and I think this is one opportunity for our city to build on that relationship we’ve started.”
Firefighters Aid Ukraine accepts unneeded or unwanted firefighter bunker/turnout gear, personal protective equipment (PPE), life rescue equipment, and medical supplies from fire departments and vendors in Canada.