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Toledo Fire sending excess gear to firefighters in Serbia

Toledo Fire sending excess gear to firefighters in Serbia
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 7:38 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledo firefighters are looking to lend a helping hand but now that help is headed a little farther away.

They’re sending excess, unused gear to Serbia, though it’s not gear taken off firefighters on the line, instead its stuff that’s no longer allowed to be used.

When firefighters in the United States go into burning buildings they have various types of protective gear, but that’s not the case at other points across the globe. Serbia is a perfect example of this.

“Most of the time, if not all the time when they go into structure fires they are wearing what I am wearing right now which offers no fire protection,” said John Kaminski, Assistant Chief of the Toledo Fire and Rescue Dept.

There are 24 sets of gear headed to areas surrounding Belgrade, Serbia, some of the items include coats, pants, hoods, gloves and helmets. This comes after a request from the Serbian embassy was distributed to various departments like Toledo Fire and Rescue.

“This is all outdated equipment that would have to be destroyed or thrown away. Let’s get it into the hands of someone who can use it,” said Kaminski.

The fire department got permission from Toledo City Council to donate the gear, so six boxes full will eventually head to the equivalent of Belgrade suburbs and their volunteer departments. Some departments have little to no fire protection.

This Toledo gear is in good shape but because of national regulations can’t be used in the field here anymore.

“We feel very fortunate to have that, it’s a great feeling to be able to share some of that with people who don’t have that same benefit that we do,” said Kaminski.

Some council members asked if gear could go to Ukraine, but the State Department partnerships are set up so that our region is assigned to help the countries of Hungary, Serbia and Croatia.

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