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  • Writer's pictureOleksiy

How Hospitallers save wounded

The medical volunteer organization of paramedics, Hospitallers Medical Battalion, was founded in 2014 by Yana Zinkevych. The battalion has more than 360 paramedics working on the front line, providing medical care to volunteers and the military. The hospital crews evacuate, stabilize and transport the wounded from the red zone to stabilization units or frontline hospitals.

Taras Livinskyi, call sign "Liutiy" (24 years old, Lviv)

Taras Livinskyi is a sixth-year student at Danylo Halytskyi Lviv National Medical University, public dean of the Student Council of the Medical Faculty No. 2, co-founder of the NGO Reformers of Medical Education, which provided volunteer assistance to the Armed Forces and donated blood - "Give blood for a warrior".

In 2021-2022, he entered the military department and studied to become a combat medic. In addition, he has experience in trauma and surgical interventions, which he gained in the emergency department, where he worked for four years.

He and his team helped those brought by evacuation trains in early March.

"Wounded came, and we evacuated them to hospitals in our cars and were on duty there 24/7. Then, after setting up the logistics in Lviv so that everything would operate without me, I called the Hospitallers. Then, in April, I completed my training and went with the 38th crew on my first rotation to Severodonetsk," says the paramedic.

Hospitallers work voluntarily and do not receive any assistance from the state. They stay at the front for up to a month and then have a break. This allows Livinsky to visit his old grandmother.

"The advantage of the Hospitallers is freedom, above all. When you have completed your rotation, you are sure that you will have the opportunity to return home for some time: to rest, rethink what you have experienced and seen and come back with renewed vigour. This is the opposite of when you work at your best, and after a while, your efficiency drops because you are morally, mentally and physically exhausted," the paramedic says.

The Hospitallers use Casevac and Medevac. Casevac is a vehicle that transports directly from the ground. It requires only those necessary resources to ensure a person's primary survival. They work according to the MARCH protocol, which may last 15-20 minutes.

Medevac is an ambulance that provides assistance by qualified medics. The primary task is to prepare a person for primary surgical procedures. Then, the Medevac conducts a secondary examination and prepares the person for being taken to a stabilization unit in 10-20 minutes, where primary surgical interventions will be performed to enable the person to get to the hospital.

Taras Livinskyi first worked on a Casevac, then on his second rotation at a stabilization point, and now he is part of the 5th crew on a Medevac.

Call sign "German" — a medic with the 5th crew, ophthalmologist (22 years old, Germany)

Since 2014, German lived in Germany, where he worked as a doctor in a private clinic. When the full-scale war started, he quit his job and sold everything to come to Ukraine. Since May 2022, he has been a part of the 5th crew.

"German" explains that there is more freedom in working with the Hospitallers. For example, you can choose the order of your rotations and who you work with. This freedom allows you to build teams and work more efficiently. Many of the Hospitallers have jobs in civilian life, and this freedom is essential to them.

"Our crew fully supports the battalion [Hospitallers], but we also take independent help from volunteers. That is, the basis, 90% of the equipment, comes from the battalion," says the paramedic. German works for Medevac. When a wounded person appears, they radio in and tell him where to go.

"Our commander, Ms Cheka, works for Casevac — she does all the first aid to save lives. Then she quickly brings the wounded to us; we take them in and save not only lives but health. If, for example, there is an amputated limb, our task is to fix it so that this limb can be saved. After that, we take them to a stabilisation unit and hand them over to the wounded," says German. #Hospitallers #Paramedics #UkraineParamedics #HospitallersUkraine #HospitallersUK #HelpHospitallers #Ukraine #SupportUkraine #HelpUkraine #StandWithUkraine #HelpUkraineNow

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