BEVERLY — The city is donating a fire truck to Ukraine as part of a national effort to help the country replace emergency vehicles that have been destroyed in the war against Russia.
The Beverly City Council on Monday voted in favor of declaring a 2002 fire truck as surplus so that it can be donated to an organization called US Ambulances for Ukraine.
“It’s just a tremendous opportunity,” Beverly fire Chief Peter O’Connor said during a City Council meeting at City Hall. “I can’t say how fortunate we are to live where we live. We can’t imagine going through what’s happening in other parts of the world.”
O’Connor said he learned of the effort to donate ambulances and fire trucks to Ukraine from Ipswich fire Chief Paul Parisi during a meeting of the Essex County Fire Chiefs Association. US Ambulances for Ukraine started last year in Illinois and has shipped more than 30 ambulances and one fire engine to the country, according to the organization. O’Connor reached out to the group and arranged to have the Beverly truck donated.
The group said it has received requests for the vehicles from all over Ukraine. The ambulances have been used by at least seven combat units, two fire departments and two hospitals, including in areas of major combat. One fire truck was donated to a fire station in Mykolaiv, a city in southern Ukraine that lost five trucks in an attack.
The truck being donated by Beverly was purchased in 2001 to serve as Engine 1 at the city’s headquarters fire station. It responded to roughly 1,800 calls per year during its 10 years in service, according to the city. For the last several years it has been used only as a reserve when one of the primary trucks went down. The truck has more than 106,000 miles and is valued at about $4,000.
O’Connor said it was replaced by a new truck last year.
The UA Resistance, a nonprofit that assists Ukraine, will facilitate transporting the truck to Baltimore for shipment overseas.
From there, US Ambulances for Ukraine will deliver the truck to a city in Ukraine.
Mayor Mike Cahill said in a press release that he is glad that Beverly is in a position to help the people of Ukraine.
“These trucks often sell at auction for less than $3,000 and are used for parts,” Cahill said. “We have an opportunity to provide a potentially life-saving piece of equipment to the people of Ukraine, and we are honored to do so.”
Staff Writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2535, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @heardinbeverly.