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Illinois group sending more ambulances to assist Ukraine in war against Russia

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(The Center Square) – As the Russian war in Ukraine continues, Illinois is offering some medical help by sending ambulances and fire trucks to the battle-weary country.

A collection of 12 vehicles will be shipped out by U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine, a central Illinois group founded by OSF HealthCare Vice President of Government Relations Chris Manson.

“I’ve been there five times since April 2022, and I’ve had the honor of actually driving both the Chicago and Chillicothe, Illinois fire engines into Ukraine and other vehicles into Ukraine and delivered them all over the country. So it’s been quite the honor to do that,” Manson said.

Manson said he is getting firsthand word that the vehicles are being put to good use, including one Illinois ambulance that was destroyed just shortly after it arrived.

“It had been in service for about two and a half months, it was destroyed in combat, but during that time it worked every single day and transported about 20 wounded people per day,” he said.

In all, the organization has sent more than 30 donated ambulances to Ukraine.

Ukraine native Alla Lopatkina, who is owner and president of Nortia Logistics and Ua-Resistance Foundation, said there is a constant need for rescue vehicles in Ukraine.

“Unfortunately, paramedic vehicles and medical vehicles are a specific target to Russian forces,” Lopatkina said. “They [Russia] do give out bonuses to their servicemen for targeting ambulances and paramedics specifically. Every paramedic and the vehicle lost equates multiple lives lost on the field.”

The next shipment is scheduled to go out in August, which includes vehicles donated from Illinois and around the country.

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