Wanted to volunteer on the frontline: story of a girl who chose the path of a volunteer Hospitaller
Veronica Limina is originally from Odessa, but in 2008 she moved to Vinnytsia and studied in five different schools. Her last educational institution was the Tivriivsky Lyceum with a focus on physics and mathematics. After graduating, she enrolled in Vinnytsia National Technical University (VNTU) with a major in Software Engineering. She is currently in her fourth year of studies.
Who are the "Hospitallers" and how did you learn about them?
- The Hospitallers are a medical battalion founded by Yana Zinkevich at the very beginning of the war. I learned about them quite simply: in Vinnytsia, they were opening a monument to the fallen medics of the war, and there I got acquainted with two Hospitallers. Yosyp Kutashevych "Petrovich" and Lyudmyla Hayuk "Mama Lyuda." After some time, I met more people who served in the Hospitallers.
How did you become a part of it?
- Actually, in 2018, my friend went to the war. After that, I started volunteering, but later I realized that I couldn't stay aside and wanted to volunteer with them. My family didn't let me go, so I was involved in volunteering for a long time. But then I went to the Hospitallers training center. Joining the battalion was quite simple. I attended training in tactical medicine, received a certificate, and three days later, I went on my first rotation.
Tell us about the training and preparation.
- Training is a week-long course where you learn the TCCC protocol, which is used to save the wounded in the war zone. It's a military protocol for military paramedics. The preparation takes a week, with hands-on practice of everything and simulations of various situations close to combat scenarios.
How did people around you react?
- There were different situations. Clearly, paramedics do more than just save lives. In general, 90% of the war is daily life: cooking, cleaning, washing, and strengthening positions. So paramedics not only save lives but also dig trenches and take care of daily needs.
How many rotations have you done and for how long?
- I have completed five rotations. Each rotation lasts 2 to 2.5 weeks. But I plan to continue traveling and rotating in positions.
What is the most needed during rotations?
- Since we're a volunteer battalion, there's a need for everything: medicine, food, everyday items. There are front-line areas where fuel is in high demand. It's needed everywhere because our vehicles run on it, generators work with it. Charging phones, flashlights, and devices is always necessary.
Do you have a callsign?
- Yes, I had one even before my first rotation. My callsign is "Tesla" named after the physicist Nikola Tesla. During my studies at the physics and mathematics lyceum, I really liked him. Because he was a very peculiar person who wasn't understood in his time, but he had ingenious inventions. Over time, my nickname became associated with an electric car. I have his tattoo on my right hand.
What was the scariest moment?
- The moment when we were driving and suddenly ran out of fuel. We stopped in the middle of a field, not knowing if that area was under fire or not. Everything around the road was mined, and there was no possibility to pull over to let someone pass...
What are your plans for the future?
- First and foremost, to finish university, and develop in IT. I plan to continue rotations and develop in my free time. When the war ends, to help veterans reintegrate into civilian life, because it's a very long and difficult process. #Hospitallers #Paramedics #UkraineParamedics #HospitallersUkraine #HospitallersUK #HelpHospitallers #Ukraine #SupportUkraine #HelpUkraine #StandWithUkraine #HelpUkraineNow