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 firstly 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 outfitted automobile, notching up tens of 1000’s of views on social media.
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“Our job 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 secure place the place ambulances are ready for him,” the 34-year-old informed Reuters in his dwelling metropolis of Warsaw.
He struggled together with his first mission, although 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 below hearth.”
“The first time I had this man with severe wounds, it turned out that I stored my cool, I knew how you can behave. It turned out that regardless of the concern, I might management it and turned it into the flexibility to assume logically and make fast selections.”
None of his crew members obtain compensation for his or her work, he mentioned, and so they all journey to warfare zones of their break day 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 mentioned he received concerned due to a “personal want to assist Ukraine”.
“Then I seen that I had individuals round me who wished to do the identical factor as me. And so the group was fashioned.”
If the volunteer paramedics die, the Polish authorities is not going to pay compensation to their households, he mentioned. And will probably be their households’ duty to move their our bodies again dwelling.
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“It is a superb competition of sacrifices”, Duda mentioned. “We should, to start with, face our households who’re nervous that they’ll lose us.
“We are at all times sincere with them and say that this certainly can occur… But we’re very motivated.”
Above all, Duda mentioned the battle had taught him to understand the small issues in life.
“Even if you happen to eat a chunk of bread, you have to be blissful, as a result of, you’ve gotten one thing to eat… You’re alive. The stars shine brighter after such experiences.”