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  • Writer's pictureOleksiy

Volodymyr Zelensky awarded the Order "For Merit" III degree to the Hospitaller Irina Tsybukh

Last week, President Volodymyr Zelensky awarded the Order "For Merit" III degree to the Hospitaller Irina Tsybukh, named 'Cheka.'

Volodymyr Zelensky awarded the Order "For Merit" III degree to the Hospitaller Irina Tsybukh

Irina and her team accompany the execution of combat tasks by their unit on different fronts. Since February 24, the top priority for our Hospitallers has been aiding the wounded. Not their own health. Not the pursuit of ambitions or the comfort of existence.

Here's what Irina wrote after receiving her award: "Someday I'll return from war and try again to be a good manager, to efficiently deal with crises, learn, serve, not flinch in tough moments, and take responsibility for decisions. But for now, I'm a paramedic in the voluntary medical battalion Hospitaliers, and this decision to remain in the shadows of the state and legality could be burdensome. However, today's award from the president shed light on voluntary service, so this post is about what I actually do in the Hospitaliers and why management matters here.

Forgive the cynicism, but the very act of saving a wounded life is the end product of a very long journey. Due to directive hierarchy and monumental scale, the military finds it hard to embrace new approaches to dealing with challenges, but the Hospitallers today are a tool for quick, efficient, and cost-free crisis resolution due to the shortage of medics.

We always work for those who truly need us at this specific time.

Another principle of our crew is to be the most advanced and professional first-line evacuation. Alongside Mr. Serhiy Borsuk, we strive to set the trend for a warm and equipped evacuation vehicle from trenches to medevac. We're not a taxi; we've retrofitted a pickup to the level of a full-fledged ambulance.

Risk. We're always on standby, ready within 7-10 minutes to reach wherever our help might be needed. We possess all the necessary knowledge to protect ourselves and each other, understanding that our injury or death goes unnoticed by the state. We consciously take risks for the mission we will accomplish.

Last but not least, by coming for a monthly rotation, we buy time. It's decision time for the unit: time for training paramedics in medic duties or finding a full-fledged evacuation group in the ranks. I don't mobilize because I don't want to fill a spot in the ranks; with my short-term work for the units, I want to give them the chance to find people and fill dozens of such spots.

Besides saving lives, we also facilitate interaction between units, organize training, deal with equipping aid facilities, logistics, etc. Multitasking—nothing heroic in it, but it's the reason I remain a volunteer without pay, benefits, or social security.

So, the order from the president feels so unexpected and unreal. The chances for a volunteer to receive such an award from the commander-in-chief are slim. I'm happy this happened and hope Zelensky found solace too, as he now has our T-shirt and badge."

We are immensely proud of our paramedic. And we shouldn't stop. Please support the hard work of our volunteer paramedics and donate generously!

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