Kevin Royle and Ihor Kruk spoke to our club at our Tuesday meeting about the work that was being done in Ukraine through this program. This was on the eve of the Russian invasion of the country.
As described on the organization's website ( 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.
The organization came about as a result of Kevin Royle taking part as a team member of the 2012 Rotary Club Group Study Exchange focusing on emergency services. During the exchange Kevin 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.
Obviously the good work of this organization is suspended until Ukraine is safe to travel to again. The Saint City Rotary Club will be working with other clubs in our district to raise the necessary funds to continue this important project.