LA County firefighters send extra equipment to first responders in Ukraine as war drags on

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Los Angeles County fire crews are sending some of their extra equipment to firefighters in Ukraine.

The plane carrying that much-needed surplus equipment, such as hoses, nozzles, turnouts, helmets, body armor and other personal protective gear, is expected to take off Friday.

This first responder-to-first responder help for Ukraine is a national effort as agencies across the U.S. gather equipment and supplies to send abroad. In Southern California, the L.A. County Fire Department led the effort after an organization called "First-in Fire Foundation" reached out on Tuesday.

As the war in Ukraine drags on, first responders in the besieged country are faced with shortages in supplies to help provide basic emergency services and fire protection to its communities.

The fire department worked with L.A. County, L.A. City Fire, and the National Guard to collect surplus equipment sitting in storage.

While the L.A. County Fire Department has sent donations for tsunamis, hurricanes and other disasters, Chief Daryl Osby believes this is the first time the department has sent donations to a country in times of war.

"We are extremely proud to help our brothers and sister firefighters in Ukraine because we know how dangerous is it to fight fires with full gear," said Osby. "We've never experienced doing it in a war. so whatever we can do to assist them, to enable them to protect the lives and property of their fellow citizens, we're on board."

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"Everyone wants to know what can we do to support these brave citizens of Ukraine who are, you know, risking their lives to save their country, and I think, I think the residents of L.A.County are going to appreciate this chief," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn. "And they'll be able to say 'we're a part of a county that actually stepped up, and did something tangible to help those who are over there fighting this war.'"

A private jet will fly the supplies to Poland, and then they'll be sent to their final destination in Ukraine.

For ways to help Ukrainian refugees and relief efforts, click here.

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