A team of spouses from the UK will drive the two vehicles they are equipped for the rescue mission to the Polish border.
The demand for medical equipment in Ukraine’s war-torn areas exceeds bandages, with some areas lacking means of transporting the injured.
A British couple are working to send two cars equipped as ambulances to the Ukrainian Medical Service. A number of local British businesses are helping to prepare vehicles
It’s just a small example of how individuals can help directly in the effort.
The war in Ukraine, now nearly a month old, has dragged health services in many Ukrainian cities to the limit, with hospitals experiencing shortages of supplies and lifesaving equipment. The pressure is particularly severe in cities in the centre 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 team of husband and wife from the UK is preparing to send two cars to Ukraine to work as ambulances. Richard and Gosia Myers of The New Forest, Hampshire, are working with the help of local businesses to equip the Land Rover Freelander as a first responder vehicle and medical equipment for Fiat Ducato ambulances. The couple plans to send two pre-equipped cars to the Ukrainian Health Ministry. Both are still in the process of raising money for the effort.
“There are team members with direct family ties to Eastern Europe, we can’t cross our arms and watch and do nothing,” says Richard Myers. We have decided to donate two cars to the Ukrainian Medical Service. The [first car, the Land Rover Freelander] has just been converted into a First Response car and will be equipped with medical supplies, spinal boards and trauma kits. the second [fiat Ducato] is ready to be converted into a Frontline Ambulance. ”
Freelander is almost ready, intended to act as a smaller ambulance with enough room to transport medical and supplies, as well as carry the sick and injured, while Ducato will be able to carry more equipment and more than one patient. Myers is working with a number of local businesses in Hampshire, including Condor Ferries, Thurston Guernsey Transport Solutions (GTS) and A-Cute Medical to equip the vehicles, while also coordinating their efforts with the Ukrainian Embassy in London.
“After the second one is completed, we will take them directly to the Polish-Ukrainian border and hand them over to a representative of the Ukrainian Medical Service,” Myers added.
While several Western European countries have provided medical supplies to Ukraine since the start of the war, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, efforts to donate medical vehicles have so far not been widely publicized. A few days earlier, a number of ambulances driven by volunteers from the UK to the Polish border, funded by the North East Ambulance Service from Gateshead, UK, and joined the medical relief efforts just hours later. Many are expected to arrive at the Polish border in the coming weeks as the fighting shifts to the northwestern quarter of the country.
Myers’ plans to donate vehicles to Ukrainian medical teams underscore the fact that humanitarian efforts do not need to be funded by some major organization or state, and can be carried out by individual families in neighboring countries or distant countries, and that little by little bit of the device can help.
“Our medical security guards are waiting for these vehicles to evacuate the injured from Bucha, Irpen and other hotspots,” said a Kyiv resident and a friend of Myers’. “To transport the wounded from the battlefield to the hospital… The cars will do a lot of good things.”