Images of Ukrainian firefighters putting out a fire at the site of an explosion near Lviv this weekend has caused some controversy – and there’s a Canadian connection.
Live footage of fire crews attempting to extinguish the blaze was broadcast on CNN Saturday morning.
Crews in the distance could be seen attempting to put out the flames while others remained several metres away. One of the rescue workers was wearing a suit with the word “Edmonton” on the back.
That led to claims of misinformation online, with some users denouncing the American news network for falsely portraying the location of the blaze.
But there was no mistake. The Ukrainian firefighter wearing an Edmonton turnout coat was the recipient of Canadian generosity.
“People were texting, ‘hey Kev, did you see your equipment is being used in Lviv?’ said Kevin Royle.
Royle is the project director for “Firefighter Aid Ukraine." The group has been donating equipment and gear to Ukraine for nearly a decade now.
“It’s unfortunate it’s being used because of the conflict, but it’s impressive to see it there," he said.
Royle confirmed the bunker gear shown in the live footage was donated by his aid group.
“It’s good to know it’s all being put to good use and it’s going to keep someone safe and help in the struggle they’re facing,” he said.
Royle and his team continue to volunteer daily at a Ukraine donation warehouse in Edmonton, preparing boxes of equipment and gear that will be sent to the war-torn country.
“It feels good to know what you set out to accomplish is taking shape and happening,” he said.