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IFD donates surplus equipment to Ukrainian firefighters

IFD Ukraine donation
Posted at 11:16 PM, Oct 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-25 23:16:29-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Firefighters in Ukraine are saving lives on the front lines of their country's defense of a Russian invasion. They got some help in that fight from the Indianapolis Fire Department.

IFD shipped 25 surplus fire department gear kits as well as medicine to Ukraine on Wednesday.

"They're able to accept gear that may be decommissioned here and stuff we're not going to use anymore," said Rita Reith of the Indianapolis Fire Department. "We're happy to front that effort, we're happy it all worked out. If they ask again and we can help out, we will do so."

Ukrainian Society of Indiana founder Svitlana Ramer, an immigrant from Ukraine, helped coordinate the shipment.

"It will save lives in Ukraine," Ramer said. It will save lives of firefighters and of civilians who are victims."

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The movement to ship gear to Ukraine started when a group of Ukrainian firefighters described the need for items during the Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis this April.

Ramer still has family in Ukraine who have seen the need for supplies with their own eyes.

"They're rescuing people under the rubble when buildings crumble after missile strikes and when artillery shelling takes out entire blocks," Ramer said. "In Ukraine, we call them heroes without weapons."

The care package also included a stretcher and an automatic defibrillator.

"To care about the lives of Ukrainian firefighters is truly the Hoosier hospitality," Ramer said.