Ex-York firefighter flies to help in Ukraine – and gets charged £60 by Ryanair for his rescue kit

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A retired York firefighter who travels to Ukraine to help his fire brigade has been dismayed to be charged £60 by an airline to take his lifesaving equipment with him.

Bruce Reid, who has more than 30 years of firefighting experience, contacted the Ukrainian embassy after the Russian invasion to see if his skills could be put to good use.

He was a show manager in York and now lives in Knaresborough.

He booked his own flights to Poland, where he could fly to the border with Ukraine.

Although he retired two years ago, he wanted to put his skills to work for people. He said YorkMix that he was not going to fight the Russians, but that he wanted to help the Ukrainian Fire and Rescue Service continue as more and more of its regulars joined the army.

This is the bag of kit that cost Bruce Reid an extra £60 even though he was on a mission to help Ukraine

Bruce said YorkMix“My personal things were all in my carry-on and I explained to the man at the door what the big bag was for.

“It was supposed to go in the hold of the plane and I said everything in it was for firefighting.

“But I was told it would be just under £60, which was really a little disappointing.”

Bruce said there were hardly any passengers on the flight to Krakow which left Leeds Bradford yesterday (Sunday) and he insisted on the extra charge as his mission was that Ryanair was a little ” cheap”.

The North Yorkshire branch of the Fire Brigade Union tweeted to say:

Ryanair has yet to respond to the incident.

Bruce said YorkMix he did not know how long he would stay in Ukraine but reassured his family that he would only do his duty as a firefighter. He has no intention of fighting alongside their soldiers as other British citizens have said they would.

“I don’t want to take a crash course in using an AK47,” he said. “But if I can get to a fire station in Ukraine and help them, maybe I’ll do my part.”

In 2015, Mr Reid was awarded an MBE for his services both as a firefighter and to charity.

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