New Jersey firefighters collect donations for first responders in Ukraine

Firefighters in Clifton Saturday collected equipment for Ukrainians in need, which included protective gear and hand tools.

News 12 Staff

Mar 19, 2022, 2:08 PM

Updated 818 days ago

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Firefighters in Clifton Saturday collected equipment for Ukrainians in need, which included protective gear and hand tools.
Ukraine-born Clifton firefighter Oleg Skachko oversaw the second round of firefighting equipment donations from fellow firefighters. Just weeks ago, he got a call from a friend back home who was in need of equipment.
"He wanted to see whether I could come up with at least a few sets of gear," Skachko said.
With the help of the Clifton Fire Department and the union, they came up with more than a few.
"We collected over 400 sets of turn-out gear and we've since shipped those out," said Lieutenant Mark Drew. "In the weeks since, we've probably collected over 500 sets additional."
The Russian invasion on Ukraine is now in its third week. As the conflict continues, the needs of those who are fighting for the country continues to grow.
Firefighters in Clifton put out the call to action on social media and fellow firefighters responded from near and far.
"We've got plenty of old gear we can't use…It will do something to help somebody else," said Allen Cosner, of the Davis, West Virginia Volunteer Fire Department.
"We all stick together – good, bad, ugly, indifferent. The fire service is the same, it doesn't matter whose name is on the door. We're all firefighters,” said Rick Beeler, who traveled from the Tri Township Fire District in Michigan.
From Garwood to Saddle Brook, to Patterson to New York, the support poured in and no donation was too small. Firefighters collected a variety of supplies and equipment.
"We're limiting ourselves to personal protective equipment, the coats, the pants, helmets, hoods, boots and gloves. We're also taking some of the hand tools axes, halogens pipe poles...pretty much anything that we can ship over by air," Drew explained.
Collections will continue until the end of the month.
The second batch of donations will be packed and shipped to Poland Sunday before it's brought to Ukraine's border.


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