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Generous donation helps Calgary firefighter send specialized equipment to firefighters in Ukraine


Specialized equipment no longer needed by the Calgary Fire Department (CFD) is being sent to firefighters in Ukraine thanks to a generous donation from an Alberta entrepreneur.

Capt. Dean Krupa with CFD volunteers with the local chapter of Firefighter Aid Ukraine in his spare time. For the last few months, he has been looking for donations to purchase 30 portable jaws of life —extrication equipment that is not accessible to many firefighters in Ukraine.

The price tag, including shipping, is $50,000.

“With the war effort that's going on there, those firefighters are still doing their job in conditions that I can't even begin to imagine,” Krupa said.

Debora Rice-Salomons, who runs Mountain View Events at The Heritage Centre, heard about the initiative from a young firefighter who attended a wedding at her venue.

From there, she had a meeting with Krupa and offered to front the money now and host a 1950s-themed Vegas casino night at her venue on New Year’s Eve to support it.

“Really was impressed with what this group is trying to do. And so, I felt it was really important for me to step up and help not only the Alberta community, but also the community of Ukraine firefighters,” Rice-Salomon said.

Krupa said her eagerness to help “just about knocked me out of my chair.”

Thanks to the donation, 17 crates of equipment and protective gear, weighing 9,000 pounds, has been packed up and is ready to be shipping to Poland any day now.

“These tools are even more valuable now for them. So, to be able to provide that for them, I can’t tell you what that means to me,” Krupa said.

Krupa and others with Firefighters Aid Ukraine will be flying to Poland in early November to bring the shipment to Ukraine.

They will also spend a few days training firefighter there how to operate the jaws of life.

“Being able to go to Ukraine as a Ukrainian and seeing what’s going on there right now and be able to do this project and help those firefighters, it’ll be life changing, I have no doubt,” Krupa said.

As for the New Year’s Eve fundraising event in support of Firefighter Aid Ukraine, tickets can now be purchased on Eventbrite Top Stories

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