Our sixth delivery included a fire engine, an ambulance and (almost) a Transporter van.
The fire engine was just retired from its service at Räddningstjänsten, it was still up to date and not an old barn find in need of a huge overhaul to be operational. Before its journey south it was still treated to a full service, and then stocked with hoses, splitters, couplings, adapters, and nosepieces. It was also loaded with hydraulic tools (AKA Jaws of life) and a mobile hydraulic power unit among a lot of other stuff.
The ambulance was bought empty and got a full service and checkups as well as filled with kit for its new undertaking.
The Transporter van started it’s journey from another part of Sweden and met up at the ferry.
We had some mechanical troubles along the way, the most troublesome where a wheel bearing on the Transporter that started making noise along the way, and then rapidly deteriorated. It was clear that the wheel bearing was going to fail, probably sooner than later, leaving the car unusable. Rather than risking getting stuck, we decided to look for a workshop while in Poland, to get it fixed. The second most critical issue was that a low oil pressure warning had appeared in the Ambulance, luckily it was only due to the oil level being a bit too low. We decided to split up and while one part of the crew toured all the workshops for one to fix the Transporter, the Ambulance set out ti find some motor oil of the correct weight to top it off.
Eventually we also found a workshop for the Transporter that offered to change the wheel bearing ASAP, while we waited. The Ambulance had already found some oil and the whole crew regrouped.
Before handing the Transporter over to the mechanics, we redistributed the cargo between the other vehicles, and sent the fire truck rolling towards the boarder in advance, as it was the slowest vehicle in the convoy. The Ambulance stayed by the workshop to be able to load up the Transporter crew in case of any complications.
While waiting on the Transporter at the workshop, the crew made use of the down time to replace a struggling wiper motor on the Ambulance.
After a few hours the Transporter had successfully got new bearings and was on it’s way. It only made it a few kilometers before it lost power, and the check engine light came on, after a U-turn back to the workshop it was diagnosed as a turbo issue that could not be solved in time. The Transporter was left at the workshop to be fixed, and all the remaining crew loaded up in the Ambulance to catch up with the Fire truck.
We finally arrived at the border late at night, and were in for some unexpected issues. The polish boarder guard did not let us pass as humanitarian aid, and insisted we had to queue with the trucks, where the one at the front told us he had been waiting there for two days. After many hours of waiting and negotiating with other boarder guards we were allowed to enter the humanitarian queue, and slowly approached the checkpoint again, luckily there had been a shift change while we waited, so when we got to the front of the line we could be let in by a new guard.
After many hours we were through. At least a few drivers managed to get some sleep during the crossing and we were clear of the last bureaucracy more or less in time for when the Ukrainian curfew were lifted in the morning. We continued on towards our meet up in Lviv.
We reached Lviv without any further issues and made our way through the city to rendezvous with the Rescue Services from Kharkiv.
We finally met our friends from Kharkiv again. They got to check out their new Fire engine, while being shown its specific features, controls and load out. The hydraulic equipment in particular was something that they had been asking about for for a long time now. It’s specialized equipment that are both expensive and hard to get a hold on a short notice,even in peaceful Sweden. We were equally happy that we finally managed to deliver some.
The Ambulance were going to serve near the front in another part of the country, and were picked up by another driver in Lviv. Unknown to everyone, the last stretch to it’s destination would involve two punctures along the way, but they both got fixed locally and it arrived at the planned destination at last.
Last but most importantly, thank you all supporters, sponsoring this trip!
In no particular order:
Juristfirman Urban Wiman AB
Domanski Ortopedi AB
Vemot Consulting AB
Kronans Apotek in Skene, Kinna and Sätila for donations.
The Red Cross in Malmö for donating first aid equipment.
Björn Bragée, Britt Bragée, Olle Sundin, Noël G and others that asked not to be named.
All of you who swished us money, we make sure to get the most bang out of every buck.
Without you none of this would have been possible.