Earlier this month, Rotarians in Southern Scotland partnered with Rotary in the US and Canada to deliver a Fire Rescue Truck to the city of Chernihiv in northern Ukraine.
Chernihiv was under siege from late February until early April and endured some of the fiercest bombings of the war.
This resulted in considerable damage, particularly to high-rise residential properties where residents were often trapped and unable to escape.
The rescue of trapped residents was rendered particularly difficult because of the height of the buildings, highlighting the need for specialist rescue apparatus to allow for access.
However, the truck was going to cost $50,000 to purchase, upgrade and deliver meaning help was needed”
Kyrylo Pesenkov, president of the Rotary Club of Kyiv appealed to the worldwide Rotary community for their support, to address this issue.
He had sourced a Fire Rescue Truck equipped with a 30-metre-long extension ladder from Austria being the ideal solution to the dilemma facing the Chernihiv rescue services.
However, the truck was going to cost $50,000 to purchase, upgrade and deliver meaning help was needed.
The Edinburgh club was one of six clubs worldwide that were instrumental in the setting up of the Kyiv club following the demise of the Soviet Union.
At the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko, a charter member of the Kyiv Club, asked the co-sponsor clubs and their districts to collaborate again.
Since then, representatives of the Kyiv Club and the six sponsors have been meeting regularly online, identifying ways to share what is working to raise awareness, donations, and RI Disaster Response Grants.
Rotary International established a Ukraine Disaster Fund to finance and source relief projects to support the citizens of Ukraine.
Rotarians worldwide have raised more than $15 million for this fund, and grants of up to $25,000 are available to Rotary Districts that create suitable projects.
The purchase, upgrade and delivery of the truck met all criteria to be eligible for grant funding, so Edinburgh Club together with Districts 1020 and 5050 began the process.
Both grants were speedily approved, and the wheels were set in motion for the delivery of the Fire Rescue Truck.”
Each District applied for the maximum grant of $25,000 to fund the $50,000 purchase, upgrade, and delivery price.
Both grants were speedily approved, and the wheels were set in motion for the delivery of the Fire Rescue Truck.
The truck was driven to Latvia while the financial arrangements were finalised, then via Poland to the Ukrainian border where a reception committee was waiting to make the final leg of the journey to the city of Chernihiv.
The Fire Rescue Truck was safely received by the Chernihiv Fire and Rescue Service on June 13th and given a traditional hose down to welcome the new appliance.