When the shots started firing in Ukraine and videos started surfacing on Twitter of all the death and destruction, I was shocked and speechless just like many others in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois.  Questions of "What's next?" and "How can I help those who are suffering right now?" were part of my daily and hourly thoughts.  While I was still trying to figure out how I could personally help, a group of firefighters in Oronoco stepped up and started collecting items.

Oronoco Fire Department
Oronoco Fire Department

Oronoco Fire Department Leading the Initiative to Collect Fire and Rescue Gear for Ukraine

On March 22nd, a letter was sent out by the Oronoco Fire Department to Fire Chiefs in the Southeast Minnesota region with the following message:

Hello Chief and Officers,

The Oronoco Fire Department is heading up an initiative to collect and send used turnout gear, boots, helmets, and other fire/rescue equipment to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. We have partnered with Chaplain Ministries International out of Lindstrom, MN, as they have the means and logistics to deliver the donated items to Ukraine.

We are asking for your help and the help of other fire departments in Southeast Minnesota to also donate anything you might have.

Oronoco Fire Department
Oronoco Fire Department

What happened next truly shows how one small act of kindness can truly multiply thanks to Minnesota Nice

Almost as soon as the initial e-mail went out to fire departments locally, it was sent statewide.  Today, donations are coming in from all over Minnesota.

I have received calls from over a dozen fire departments looking to donate. We have already received donations from Excelsior Fire, St. Louis Park Fire, Chaska Fire, and Myrtle Fire. - Johann Sonnenberg, Oronoco Fire Department


What items are being collected and when to donate to help those rescuing and fighting fires in Ukraine

The Oronoco Fire Hall will be collecting items every Monday night from now until April 11th from 6:30 - 8:00 pm.  The items that they are collecting include:

  • turnout coats,
  • bunker pants (both can be called PPE or turnout gear),
  • gloves,
  • hoods,
  • boots,
  • goggles,
  • fire helmets,
  • used fire tools (axes, halligan bars, etc),
  • bullet proof vests,
  • and SCBA and bottles (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus).

All donations of gear must be:

  • Free of rips, tears, holes, and any tattering on the cuffs of pants or coats
  • Age does not matter
  • NFPA compliance does not matter
  • Any equipment must just be usable

Learn more at the Oronoco Fire Department's Facebook page here.

KDHL Radio logo
Get our free mobile app

11 of the Most Devastating Weather Disasters in Minnesota Throughout The Years

We might be full of lakes and "nice" but Minnesota has had its fair share of horrible and nasty weather. Throughout the years we've had floods, fires, storms that have crushed stadium roofs flat, and tornadoes that have destroyed lives.

More From KDHL Radio