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Firefighters share support for Ukrainian fire crews on front lines of military action

Social media posts highlight the challenges faced by Ukrainian fire crews ‘standing tall, doing their job’ during Russian invasion


By FireRescue1 Staff

KYIV, Ukraine — Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine last week, striking air bases and military infrastructure in at least two dozen cities across the country.

As airstrikes have left dozens dead and buildings in ruins, Ukrainian fire crews are “standing tall doing their jobs” on the front lines, as one firefighter noted.

Fellow firefighters have taken to social media to show their support for their brother and sister firefighters facing unthinkable challenges trying to protect their citizens.

News outlets are capturing the scenes facing Ukrainian fire crews:

“In Peace, Firefighters, in War, Soldiers”

A firefighter’s view of crews’ bravery during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

By Robert Rielage

The phrase “In peace, firefighters – in war, soldiers” is attributed to the Zouaves, a group of firefighters who enlisted together, primarily from the New York area, during the Civil War. They distinguished themselves with colorful uniforms on the battlefield to let everyone know they were first and foremost firefighters.

As an Air Force veteran and one who served overseas in wartime, I have been looking with great interest at the updates and videos from the cities in Ukraine. It has struck me in the early going how our brother and sister firefighters in Ukraine have kept that spirit exemplified by the Zouaves.

Many videos show scenes where firefighters are attempting to extinguish fires or rescuing victims from the damage caused by artillery, rockets and missiles in many of the larger cities, including Kyiv.

Several scenes show firefighters on the landing of a multi-family dwelling attempting to enter an apartment to search and extinguish an interior fire as thick smoke pours out of the doorway. Others show an exterior attack from a ladder truck to the top floor and roof of a multi-story structure. And a third shows them attempting to search for victims at the remains of a structure that collapsed undoubtedly caused by explosions at or near this building.

We need to acknowledge the bravery and professionalism of our counterparts, and realize their dedication did not stop when the bullets began to fly. They are no less defending their country and innocent citizens, as their friends and neighbors who have taken up arms in defense of their country.

“In peace, firefighters – in war, soldiers” is still true today.


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