Central Illinois’ first ambulance delivered to Ukraine in early April has been moved to the front lines, as the need for ambulances in the war-torn country continues to grow, according to an OSF HealthCare news release.
On March 29, an Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) of Central Illinois ambulance filled with supplies donated by AMT and OSF HealthCare and their Mission Partners (employees) left Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for Ukraine.
The ambulance made its way into Ukraine in early April, where it was assigned to work in Kyiv, the nation’s capital. According to Ukrainian officials, during the past three months it has been used at a cardiac hospital transporting critical ill patients in need of life saving care.
That changed in early July, when the ambulance was reassigned. It has now been moved to the Kharkiv region in the northeastern part of Ukraine — which is under constant attack from Russian missiles and rockets.
The AMT ambulance and its Ukrainian crew will be responsible for providing life-saving care, which will include responding to areas of active conflict, the OSF release said.
Chris Manson, Vice President of Government Relations for OSF HealthCare and who initiated the ambulance donation project, recently returned from a second trip to Ukraine where he was able to help drive an ambulance donated in the second wave into the country.
“It was gratifying to see the ambulances and medical supplies in-country and fulfilling a tremendous need. The Ukrainian teams I met with have been extremely appreciative of everything people in the U.S. are doing to help,” said Manson.
While the AMT of Central Illinois ambulance is the first ambulance to make it to Ukraine, a total of seven
ambulances are now working in Ukraine. Four more are on their way to Ukraine by ship tomorrow with five more leaving in August.
By early August, three Illinois ambulances will be operating in Ukraine. Donated ambulances and the critical medical supplies they are filled with have come from across the United States.
In June, the Muscatine Fire Department donated two retired ambulances (that had clocked 250,000 miles apiece) for Ukraine.
The fire department decided to donate two ambulances after learning about the need for more medical supplies.
“Ukraine Medical Association of North America was accepting donations, so we reached out to them put us in contact with OSF Saint Francis,” Muscatine Fire Battalion Chief Gary Ronzheimer said in June.