An Edmonton Firefighter Coat At The Centre Of A Ukraine Conspiracy Theory Has Been Debunked

There's a simple explanation.

Calgary Staff Writer
A Firefighter in Ukraine wearing a jacket with Edmonton on the back. Right: A close-up of the jacket.

A Firefighter in Ukraine wearing a jacket with Edmonton on the back. Right: A close-up of the jacket.

A conspiracy theory on social media that images of firefighters at the scene of a bombing in Ukraine are actually from a fire in Edmonton has been debunked — and there's actually a pretty simple reason why.

Social media users spotted a firefighter in Ukraine wearing a jacket with "Edmonton" written on the back. The footage, used by CNN in the aftermath of a Russian attack on a fuel storage site in Lviv, Ukraine, sparked a theory that the images were fake.

However, an Edmonton non-profit Firefighter Aid Ukraine was quick to debunk the theory.

The non-profit, which was founded in 2015 by Edmonton Firefighter Kevin Royle, collects unneeded firefighter bunker gear from fire departments across Canada and sends it for distribution in Ukraine.

In a Facebook post, they shared a photo from 2017 of donated bunker gear being distributed in Lviv, Ukraine, featuring a similar jacket to that shown in the CNN footage.

"See the 'Edmonton' on the back of the jacket? There is no conspiracy. Our firefighter friends and colleagues are in harm's way and we will continue to support them," the post read.

Edmonton's fire chief Joe Zatylny also confirmed that the jacket seen in the CNN footage would have come through Firefighter Aid Ukraine's donation program.

In a Facebook post, he said: "I am grateful to many of our many EFRS members who volunteer for Firefighter Aid Ukraine and Kevin Royle, who has organized the donations of gear to Ukraine since 2016."

"Firefighters help those in need and this is a perfect example. Our thoughts and safe wishes continue to be with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine as they continue to help and save their communities."

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