March 29 will mark the one year anniversary of the first shipment of an ambulance from the United States full of medical supplies being shipped to Ukraine. This effort, which was conceived and led by an OSF HealthCare executive, has resulted in 28 ambulances and 1 fire engine being delivered to Ukraine during the past 12 months.
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All vehicles are filled with supplies and ready to go into service upon arrival into Ukraine. Most of the vehicles donated are serving on the front lines as Ukraine defends itself against Russian forces.
To mark this milestone, U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine will accept its 5th donated fire engine at its warehouse in Schiller Park, Illinois on Wednesday March 29. The fire engine, from Muscatine, Iowa, will join four additional fire engines and 10 ambulances that will be included in the group’s 8th shipment to Ukraine which will leave in mid-April. This will bring the total of donated ambulances to 38 and the total number of donated fire engines to six (6). Emergency vehicles have been donated from 13 states with even more states contributing supplies.
"It is amazing to think that we have 29 emergency vehicles in Ukraine right now and it is even more amazing that we are preparing to ship another 10 ambulances and 5 fire engines in April,” said Chris Manson, vice president of government relations for OSF HealthCare and founder of U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine. “I am so appreciative of the generosity of the American people, the fire departments, ambulance providers and hospitals and health systems that have contributed to this effort."
The April shipment will culminate with Manson and his team driving all 15 vehicles into Ukraine where ambulances will be turned over to military units and the Ministry of Health. The fire engines will be turned over to the State Emergency Services. The team just drove six ambulances and its first fire engine over the border into Ukraine in January.
"Since the beginning this has been a huge group effort. If it wasn't for the support of OSF HealthCare, the Ukrainian Consulate in Chicago, the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America and the UA Resistance Foundation we would have never been able to achieve the success we have had," Manson adds.
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