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Sunday, July 21, 2024

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Cape May Fire Department Donates Used Turnout Gear to Firefighters in Ukraine

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By From Cape May City

CAPE MAY – The City of Cape May’s hearts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine, and now, so are our firefighters’ turnout gear. Firefighter Jackson Pyle learned about an effort set forth by the Clifton Fire Department in Clifton, NJ to donate turnout gear to firefighters in Ukraine. Pyle approached Deputy Fire Chief Michael Eck with the idea, who then presented it to City Manager Mike Voll for approval. Voll agreed and quickly authorized the request adding, “It’s just the right thing to do.”  
Ukrainian American Firefighter Oleg Skachko’s first instinct was to run to the fires in Ukraine. He wanted to do something to help his family and the people of his homeland. What began as a request to his superiors and the union for permission to begin collecting boots, coats, helmets, gloves, axes, and sledgehammers, has grown into a small campaign throughout the state. Fire Departments from Cape May County have already begun to collect turnout gear to add to the effort. 
CMFD currently has four sets of turnout gear, including jackets and bunker pants, that are just past their ten-year life span, having expired in 2021, as well as three helmets. The gear holds no monetary value as it is past its life span in the United States as per the National Fire Protection Association. 
All the City’s items will be donated to the Clifton Fire Department’s campaign and delivered by off-duty Firefighters. Clifton has already collected an estimated 400 sets of gear which are currently stored at their public works yard. Flying these relief supplies are costly, but Skachko is working with a logistics company, Meest, and the shipping costs will be paid for by various Ukranian nonprofits. 
For more information or to contribute to the relief efforts, please call the Cape May Fire Department at (609) 884-9512.

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