Damian Duda, a Polish educational and media employee, was solely 25 when he first went to Ukraine as a volunteer fight paramedic in 2014, work he describes as his “personal campaign”.
Almost 10 years on, when Russian bombs began falling over Ukrainian cities at the beginning of its invasion, he had constructed up a crew of six individuals with expertise on battlefields as far afield as Iraq and Syria.
They had additionally began filming their medical missions driving out to the frontlines in Ukraine in a specifically geared up car, notching up tens of 1000’s of views on social media.
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“Our activity is to get the soldier out of the battle, present him with fundamental medical care, ensure that he doesn’t bleed out… and take him to a comparatively protected place the place ambulances are ready for him,” the 34-year-old advised Reuters in his house metropolis of Warsaw.
He struggled along with his first mission, regardless that he had acquired military and medical coaching.
“I used to be very afraid of that check second. I used to be very afraid of being underneath hearth.”
“The first time I had this man with critical wounds, it turned out that I stored my cool, I knew the right way to behave. It turned out that regardless of the worry, I may management it and turned it into the power to assume logically and make fast selections.”
None of his crew members obtain compensation for his or her work, he stated, they usually all journey to warfare zones of their time without work from their day jobs.
All of them are from Poland, which homes greater than 1.5 million refugees from its neighbour Ukraine and is a serious provider of arms to Kyiv.
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Duda stated he bought concerned due to a “personal want to assist Ukraine”.
“Then I observed that I had individuals round me who wished to do the identical factor as me. And so the group was shaped.”
If the volunteer paramedics die, the Polish authorities won’t pay compensation to their households, he stated. And it is going to be their households’ accountability to move their our bodies again house.
“It is a good pageant of sacrifices”, Duda stated. “We should, initially, face our households who’re frightened that they will lose us.
“We are all the time trustworthy with them and say that this certainly can occur… But we’re very motivated.”
Above all, Duda stated the battle had taught him to understand the small issues in life.
“Even in the event you eat a chunk of bread, you have to be glad, as a result of, you have got one thing to eat… You’re alive. The stars shine brighter after such experiences.”