- The need for medical equipment in Ukraine’s war-torn areas goes beyond bandages, with some areas lacking vehicles to transport the wounded.
- A British couple are working to send two vehicles equipped as emergency vehicles to Ukrainian medical services. A number of local UK companies are helping to prepare the vehicles
- This is just a small example of how individuals can contribute directly to the effort.
The war in Ukraine, which has now lasted nearly a month, has strained medical services in many Ukrainian cities, with hospitals experiencing shortages of vital supplies and equipment. The pressure is particularly strong in cities in the center of the country, including areas around the capital, as well as in the eastern third of the country, as hospitals struggle to treat the injured.
Now a husband-and-wife team from the UK is preparing to send two vehicles to Ukraine to act as ambulances. Richard and Gosia Myers from New Forest, Hampshire, are working with help from local businesses to outfit a Land Rover Freelander to act as a first responder and to outfit a Fiat Ducato ambulance with medical equipment. The couple plans to send the two equipped vehicles to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health. The two are still in the process of raise funds for the effort.
“Having team members with direct family ties to Eastern Europe, we couldn’t sit idly by,” said Richard Myers. “We have decided to donate two vehicles to the Ukrainian medical services. The first [vehicle, the Land Rover Freelander] has just undergone a conversion to a first response car and will be equipped with medical supplies, spinal boards and trauma kits. The second [the Fiat Ducato] is ready to be converted into a frontline ambulance.”
The Freelander is almost ready, intended to serve as a smaller ambulance with enough space to deliver doctors and supplies, as well as to transport the sick and injured, while the Ducato will be able to carry more equipment and more a patient. The Myers are working with several local Hampshire companies, including Condor Ferries, Thurston Guernsey Transport Solutions (GTS) and A-Cute Medical to outfit the vehicles, and are coordinating their efforts with the Ukrainian Embassy in London.
“Once the second is completed, we will drive them directly to the Polish-Ukrainian border and hand them over to a representative of Ukrainian medical services,” Myers added.
While a number of Western European countries have donated medical supplies to Ukraine since the start of the war, including through the International Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, medical vehicle donation efforts have not have not been well publicized to date. days earlier a number of ambulances were driven by volunteers from the UK to the Polish border, donated by the North East Ambulance Service in Gateshead, UK, and joined medical rescue efforts hours later. More are expected to arrive at the Polish border in the coming weeks as fighting moves to the country’s northwest quadrant.
The planned donation of vehicles by Myers to Ukrainian medical teams underscores the fact that humanitarian efforts do not have to be sponsored by a large organization or state, and can be undertaken by individual families in neighboring countries or distant nations, and that every small gesture of equipment can help.
“Our medical defenders are waiting for these vehicles to evacuate the injured from Bucha, Irpen and other hotspots,” said a Kyiv resident and friend of the Myers. “To transport wounded soldiers from battlefields to hospitals…vehicles will do so many good things.”
If you’re interested in helping, the Myers are accept donations for the effort.
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