The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is donating 20 sets of surplus ballistic vests and helmets to Ukraine as Russia’s invasion of the country continues.
According to Mendocino County Sheriff Matthew Kendall, Mendocino County Fire Chiefs are working with paramedics to gather excess trauma response supplies from their stockpiles, such as ice packs and bandages, to donate as well.
The California Bureau of Emergency Services and the California National Guard are coordinating with local law enforcement as part of a statewide effort to provide an extra layer of protection for residents staying in Ukraine, as well as refugees fleeing to surrounding countries, according to a Facebook post from the Mendocino Sheriff’s Office.
All donated supplies will be collected by the state and distributed to Ukrainians over the next two weeks.
“I don’t believe in anything Putin does,” Kendall said.
The vests, which are older and needed to be replaced anyway, “…can at least go save lives there,” he said.
The donated vests come in different sizes, but even if they’re too big, they can still effectively protect someone, according to Kendall.
The Lake County Board of Supervisors approved the equipment request last week, with the motion passing unanimously.
Later this week, the state will reclaim what has been donated so far from the sheriff’s office. First responder donations will continue to be collected over the coming weeks.
Currently, donations from the public are not accepted.