Whitemarsh firefighters donate gear to fellow first responders in war-torn Ukraine

"The fire department is a brotherhood." The firefighters in Whitemarsh hope their donation compels others to help, too.
WHITEMARSH TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Equipment from Spring Mill Fire Company in Whitemarsh Township, Pennsylvania is on its way to help firefighters in Ukraine by way of North Jersey.

"It's our way to give back in some fashion. Volunteer fire companies, they want to give back to the community in any way that we can, and maybe this is giving back more than just the local," said Chief Wayne Masters of Spring Mill Fire Company.

Masters said their company typically has used, but still usable, gear that they donate to other companies in need.

"A new set of turnout gear today costs about $4,000, so instead of disposing of it or anything like that, we like to help out in the community," said Masters.

They haven't been able to donate for the last two years due to the pandemic so the company has more than normal.

"There are seven full sets and then we have extra helmets and boots and things like that, that hopefully can go to a good need," he said.

A firefighter in Clifton, New Jersey, who immigrated from Ukraine as a teenager, began gathering donations to help firefighters in Ukraine.

A Facebook post caught Captain Rob Weber's attention.

"I happened to be scrolling through Facebook the other day, and I noticed there was a fire company up in Jersey who was collecting gear," Captain Weber explained.

The Facebook post went viral and now donations are rolling in from across the country.

The first delivery leaves this week and will take about two weeks to arrive in war-torn areas of Ukraine.

These firefighters in Whitemarsh hope their donation compels others to help too.

"Everybody believes the fire department is a brotherhood, whether in the same city, state, it just happens to be there are in a different country. But the brotherhood still exists. So whatever we can do to help them out, we're happy to do it," he said.
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