A car mechanic near Warsaw, Poland offered his services for free when he heard what two paramedics from Victoria were doing there.
He inspected a used ambulance that Andrew Mills and Melissa Sims had purchased for Ukrainian paramedics.
This one, plus two more, will soon be heading to the front lines of the war in Ukraine to replace the ambulances that have been destroyed.
“We certainly put a lot of effort into making sure we get high quality, ready-to-go ambulances because we know they go straight to the front lines as soon as they cross the border,” said Mills to CHEK News on Wednesday.
The duo raised $120,000 through their new charity Paramedics4paramedics. The original goal was to raise just $20,000 and enough to buy an ambulance, but now they have three and tens of thousands of dollars worth of medical supplies to donate.
“To actually imagine what they’re going through is unfathomable,” Sims said.
The two arrived in Poland on Monday and say there was a “heaviness” in the air in Poland as the neighboring country is destroyed, but also an undeniable spirit.
“Everywhere we go we see Ukrainian flags flying, we see ‘In Solidarity with Ukraine’ signs. People are very passionate and doing whatever they can to help their neighbours,” Sims said.
Ambulances are being driven into Ukraine on Thursday, but details of where and when are too risky to share.
“For security reasons, we cannot go into the details of how the transfer will take place,” Mills said. “What I can say is that four people from our group will take the ambulances to the border region and from there they will do the rest of the way.”
Their goal now is to buy an armored ambulance.
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