A Haslemere firefighter has headed out to Poland to help deliver 24 fire appliances to the Ukrainian fire services.

Haslemere Fire Station crew commander Chris Clinnick was part of a team of six Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) staff who handed over the fire appliances.

SFRS sent two four-by-four vehicles, and Chris was joined on the trip by logistics lead Rory Coulter, fire investigation officer Matt Oakley, crew commander Tom Westcott, firefighter Karl Jones and firefighter Robert Clarke.

The convoy started in Kent, and over the next five days it drove through France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany, before reaching its final destination in Poland.

From Poland, the fire appliances were then taken over the border to Ukraine and handed over to the country’s fire services.

SFRS took the fire appliances to Poland as part of a scheme involving the charity Fire Aid and International Development.

In Ukraine, 250 fire appliances have been destroyed, 100 fire stations bombed and 33 firefighters have lost their lives during the current war.

Chris said: “Personally, this was a very emotional journey.

“I felt sad about what’s happening in Ukraine – innocent people losing their lives caught up in war.

“I also felt very proud of myself and my colleagues for delivering this vital aid so the Ukrainian fire services can carry on saving many lives.”

Chris may have returned from his trip to Poland, but his efforts to support the fire services in Ukraine haven’t finished.

Haslemere Fire Station is now organising an open day, which will be held between 11am and 4pm on Friday, June 3 – the same day the popular Charter Fair is taking place in the town. The open day will raise money for two charities – the Fire Fighters Charity and Fire Aid and International Development.

Money raised for Fire Aid and International Development will go towards supplying the Ukrainian fire services with more fire appliances, vehicles and equipment, as well as training.

The Fire Fighters Charity help past and present firefighters and their families with physical and mental issues.