On June 12, Southern Paramedic, an ambulance provider based out of Arkansas, donated six (6) ambulances to US Ambulance for Ukraine, a Peoria, Illinois-based initiative to get used emergency vehicles into the hands of Ukrainian first responders. Founded by an OSF HealthCare executive, this effort has resulted in the delivery of 38 ambulances and 6 fire engines to Ukraine since March 2022.
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Later this summer, US Ambulances for Ukraine will deliver its largest shipment of vehicles to date which will include at least 12 ambulances, and two fire engines. In addition, several SUVs, including two donated by OSF HealthCare, will be included in the shipment. This will bring the total number of emergency vehicles from the United States in Ukraine to over 60.
Once the vehicles are collected by US Ambulances for Ukraine and its partner UA Resistance Foundation, all vehicles are filled with supplies and made ready to go into service upon arrival in Ukraine. Of the 45 vehicles already donated and in Ukraine most are serving on the frontlines as Ukraine defends itself against Russia’s ongoing invasion and occupation.
"We are constantly blown away by the generosity of the American people. We are so grateful to have now reached the 50th ambulance milestone. When we blessed the first ambulance outside of OSF HealthCare headquarters in downtown Peoria in March of 2022, we had no idea 15 months later we would still be at it. The need is still great and, thankfully, so is the generosity of so many Americans," said Chris Manson, Vice President of Government Relations, OSF HealthCare, and founder of US Ambulances for Ukraine.
In past shipments US Ambulances for Ukraine has focused solely on delivering ambulances and fire engines. The next shipment will now see that effort expanded to include SUVs. These vehicles are critically needed to move medical staff around the battlefield and retrieve wounded persons from the frontlines. Once a wounded person is picked up, they are brought to a battalion aid station for stabilization at which time they are then transported to a hospital via ambulance for care.
"The SUVs that OSF HealthCare and others are donating will be a great addition to the vehicles we provide. Unfortunately, some of the ambulances that we have delivered to Ukraine have been destroyed in combat," explained Manson. "These vehicles will have a lower profile and have a greater chance of survivability on the frontlines of the battlefield, so we are excited to get them over there. I am proud to be a part of OSF HealthCare and thankful for the ongoing support as we work to address some of the suffering caused by the Russian invasion."
US Ambulances for Ukraine continues to collect fire engines, ambulances, and SUVs for its next shipment. Once collected, the vehicles are sent via ship to Europe, eventually making their way to the Ukrainian border where they are driven in by an international team led by the Peoria based group. This summer will mark the ninth shipment of emergency vehicles that US Ambulances for Ukraine has sent to Ukraine since the war began.
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