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  • Writer's pictureOleksiy

"No wounded refused to go with me because I am a woman" - paramedic "Yevha" saves lives

Ukrainian women are involved in all possible military and related professions. Among them is Yevheniya Kolesnychenko, known as "Yevha", who serves as a paramedic in the volunteer medical battalion Hospitallers.

Yevheniya Kolesnychenko, known as "Yevha" from the Hospitallers

Yevheniya Kolesnychenko, "Yevha", joined the battalion in December 2022. Initially, she started as a volunteer, awaiting training and assisting at the base. In January 2023, she underwent training, and on February 1st, she embarked on her first rotation.

"This decision came immediately after my husband's death. I realized that I had to bring about the victory he had dreamt of," - Yevheniya explains.

Friends and relatives of "Yevha" supported her decision to join the Hospitallers and provided various forms of assistance. For instance, the Serhiyenko family took in Yevheniya's three children to live with them in Poland for seven months.

"The first injuries didn't leave a strong impression, but the first mass evacuation did. When we were waiting for 3 fighters, but 8 were brought in, and we had to provide assistance to all of them," the paramedic shares.

Upon joining the Hospitallers, "Yevha" felt supported and welcomed. However, she notes that in society, many still believe that women have no place in war because they are considered "weaker and more emotional" than men. Nevertheless, it's important to consider that all individuals have different levels of emotional resilience and physical fitness.

"My colleagues began to treat me with respect after some time spent on rotation. The guys understood that I professionally perform my duties, I'm not afraid, and I can make decisions," Yevheniya says.

Yevheniya mentioned that she tried to perform her duties with high quality and engaged in many conversations with the men around her. She spent hundreds of hours discussing equality, and it yielded results. "When talking to my colleagues, I always say that no wounded has ever refused to go with me because I am a woman," the paramedic shares.

Yevheniya Kolesnychenko, known as "Yevha" from the Hospitallers

In the Hospitallers, tasks are distributed in a way that is comfortable for everyone. Currently, the battalion consists of over 500 people working in medical crews. Initially, when the full-scale invasion began, paramedics, both male and female, were needed in all regions: Kyiv, Kharkiv, and the eastern directions. People not only supported the battalion but also started joining it.

As of now, over 2,000 people have filled out the questionnaire required for training (paramedics go through training before joining the battalion). The medical battalion does not keep statistics regarding gender distribution, but it is known that approximately 95% of the crews include paramedic women. They work in various areas and stages of evacuation: casevac (crews on pickups that go to the most difficult territories), medevac (armored medical vehicles for transporting the wounded from the battlefield), stabilization points, a medical car, and an evacuation bus known as "Avstriyka."

"In war, there are no situations where if you're a woman, your job is easier. Tasks are distributed comfortably for each member of the crew, and everyone gives their 100%" - Yevheniya emphasizes.

Yevheniya Kolesnychenko, known as "Yevha" from the Hospitallers

In the medical battalion, there are women who are excellent at working at stabilization points. They often have higher education or are pursuing it. They work side by side with the staff surgeons and perform complex procedures, saving 20 or 30 wounded per shift.

The number of female military personnel, paramedics, and volunteers has significantly increased. This is also influenced by society's perception of women in the military. The more Ukrainian society progresses towards gender equality, the more comfortable and free women will be to save lives. #Hospitallers #Paramedics #UkraineParamedics #HospitallersUkraine #HospitallersUK #HelpHospitallers #Ukraine #SupportUkraine #HelpUkraine #StandWithUkraine #HelpUkraineNow

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