Ambulances and paramedics in Ukraine have recently been targets for Russian bombs and for fellow paramedics in Victoria, it’s been a difficult thing to watch.
“We saw images of ambulances being destroyed and specifically targeted and paramedics being targeted and killed and we saw an urgent request for ambulances went out and we felt the need to act,” said Andrew Mills, advanced care paramedic with BC Ambulance Service.
Mills and Melissa Sims are both advanced care paramedics in Victoria who started Paramedics4Paramedics which is raising money to buy ambulances for medics in Ukraine.
They’ve now raised about $90,000, enough to buy three used ambulances in Poland, and $25,000 worth of medical supplies.
They are heading to Poland Sunday to pick them up and take them right into Ukraine.
“We are literally going to be driving them and a nine-passenger bus full of supplies into Ukraine ourselves,” said Sims. “I am actually leaving here today to go get my international driver’s license. For Andrew and I, we are hoping only to go as far as Lviv.”
Scenes showing first-responders risking their lives in the war zone have become common and a Ukrainian-based civilian pre-hospital care organization, Pirogov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital, has also been working tirelessly on the ground in Ukraine as bombs fall and civilians continue to die.
This is the organization where Andrew and Melissa will be delivering the ambulances.
“Those paramedics are rushing into front line warzone areas that treat the wounded and help the sick and it must be incredibly difficult for them,” said Mills.
“I want to get things going. We’ve had a lot of people who are putting their faith in us and who have invested in us and we both want to basically make true on our promises,” said Sims.
The duo, along with other team members already in Poland is continuing to raise funds for futre help they hope to give.
To donate or learn more visit www.paramedics4paramedics.ca