Força Ukraine Update: June 23, 2023

Dear Friends – 

Our team is now five days out from our US-based personnel departing for Poland and then on to Ukraine.  Again, we are so incredibly humbled by your generosity and what it has and will allow us to do in-country.  We have both acquired absolutely critical equipment here in the US – items that are not currently available in Ukraine – as well as have Ukrainian-made equipment and training materials waiting for us once we arrive.  This combination of live-saving equipment and training models will allow our team to provide the most realistic pre-hospital trauma training available.  At the bottom of this email, there are a number of pictures that show some of the gear we acquired, mostly from our friends at North American Rescue and Chinook Medical who worked with us to provide discounted pricing and ensure your generous contributions were maximized.  To highlight, we were able to acquire 100 needle decompression needles, 150 chest seals, 3 manual IO drills with extra needles, 150 emergency blankets.  We also received donations of trauma kits, surgical supplies, gauze, and tourniquets as well as cold weather clothing, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, and eye protection.  Your generous donations helped make all of this possible.  

Our team is incredibly fortunate to have some of the best trainers I have ever had the privilege of working with.  Our paramedics, Emily and Finch have both been in Ukraine previously.  Emily helped design a pre-hospital training curriculum that was used extensively previously in Ukraine.  She was among the first to demonstrate how to successfully do a field blood transfusion – a procedure that had just been approved by the Ukrainian government.  Our ER doctor, Dr. Steve, was also on our team the last time we were all in Ukraine.  Steve’s unwavering commitment to Ukraine led him to seek more permanent work there – Steve is currently in-country, where he is using his extensive and invaluable skills set to help train Ukrainian doctors and medical providers.  All three are incredibly skilled and also some of the best people I know.  Their passion for the mission and for Ukraine are unmatched.  Our team would not be complete – or even functional – without our Ukrainian teammates.  Our interpreters Stan and Viktoriia have also been on previous teams and are the very best at what they do.  Each has had their lives turned upside-down over the past 16 months and have been fully engaged in humanitarian efforts since the very beginning.  

In preparation for going, our team is monitoring both the dynamic situation in Ukraine, but also the current developments in Russian, which have the potential to further escalate the conflict.  Our team is aware of the risks and we are taking every measure to mitigate what we can.  We know that our short time in-country is very little compared to what our Ukrainian friends and their country-people have endured since February 2022.  With the counter-offensive starting, the team realizes that the need for pre-hospital trauma training for the medics that are evacuating civilians, working at stabilization points, and responding to missile strikes in the various urban centers is greater than ever.  

We will be providing updates as we can once in Ukraine – mostly by way of this email list.  We are also posting updates on Instagram (@Ukraineeffort_3.0).  As this is just an email from me to you, if at any point you do not want to receive these updates, email me directly and I will remove you from the mailings.  

On behalf of the Forca Foundation, our Ukraine team, and me personally, thank you again for what each of you has done to make this possible.  You have helped make this possible.  It is because of you that our team will be able to travel to Ukraine and provide the best possible training with the best possible equipment.  

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