Força Ukraine Update: July 5, 2023

Dear Friends – 

Just a very brief update to let you know that the team is in location at our first training area.  For the US-based personnel, it entailed a flight from the US through Germany to Poland, a train to the border, another overnight train to our link up point with the team, and finally a several hour drive.  But we are here and two days into our first training location!  It was amazing to have the whole team back together again – some of us first worked together in April of last year and have not seen each other since.  Others are brand new to the team and are incredibly welcome additions.  It was pretty emotional on the train platform – and not just because it meant the end of three of us hauling 12 bags around.  We are currently becoming even better acquainted in what has quickly become our team house, a home we are able to use for free while we are in this training location.  

Our first full morning in country, we had the chance to visit one of our local vendors where we picked up our order of 100 tourniquets and two field-expedient litters for faster patient movement.  The good people at Dnipro Tourniquet welcomed us in, let us sit with the head of their company and their chief technician, and they talked us through their research and development process before showing us exactly how they make their product.  I have to say, we all came away confident that it is one of the best, if not the best, tourniquets any of us have ever seen.  It will be a privilege to be able to provide this truly impressive product to first responders and medics in the field.  And from a financial standpoint, they cost less than half of what a similar (I dare say lesser) product would cost us in the US.  We also received the locally made trainers that we have already been using to help us teach various techniques, as well as the locally made supplies that we will be able to donate.  Just today we were able to donate 20 tourniquets, 20 chest seals, 40 packs of gauze, 20 pairs of shears, and 40 emergency blankets for hypothermia control. 

The last two days, we have started training with approximately 40 front-line first responders.  Many do not have a medical background – in discussions today, we learned that one individual was a plumber before the war started.  One of the most competent medics was an architect.  Yet they are here, volunteering to work as first responders and medical providers in these hours of need in their country.  Thanks to you, we were able to get the best possible team in place, with incredible equipment, to provide not just lifesaving material, but also the training on how to use those tools correctly and to their best effect.  We could not be more grateful to you.  

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