A Northamptonshire paramedic is heading to Ukraine this week to support the humanitarian effort and aid the country’s emergency services in helping those in need.
Sam Sears, 41, an EMAS Tactical Commander and Paramedic based at Kettering Ambulance Station, left the UK on 9 May to spend six weeks with charity UK Med; the frontline medical aid charity who provide support to countries hit by crises or disasters.
Sam from Sudborough, Northamptonshire, has been a volunteer with UK Med since 2012 and previously deployed with the charity to Sierra Leone during the Ebola pandemic.
However, he explained that it has been a while since he has done anything like this and so is looking forward to providing help on the ground.
"While I am apprehensive about the travel to Ukraine with it being a long journey, I am eager to get out there and help the hundreds of women, men and children in need.
"It has been a while since I last did anything like this, with my most recent trip being to Sierra Leone in 2015, however, I want to be able to use my experience and skills to support in the best way I can.
"It didn’t take long for me to make the decision to go and support having seen the news coverage every day and watching what was happening in the country, so when asked, I knew I had to do something to help the people who live there and the humanitarian effort.
"I will be using my skills as a paramedic to help patients in both static and mobile clinics, helping with urgent care and ensuring people have the vital medication they need.
"I will also be working with the local emergency services to share knowledge and expertise from working within EMAS and my Hazardous Area Response Team background so that they can continue to respond to patients in the best possible way when we leave the area."
Sam set off for Poland on Monday where he will cross the border into Ukraine, before travelling to his destination from Lviv. He will be based in the country for six weeks.
He says while it was a big decision to make, his family and colleagues are proud of what he is doing.
"I have always been someone who is eager to help people, having wanted to be a paramedic since a young age so my family completely understand why I am travelling to Ukraine to help and they are so proud.
"My colleagues at EMAS have also been an amazing support, stepping up to help where needed while I am away, and I am incredibly grateful for that."
You can help support Sam and the UK Med teams in Ukraine by visiting the UK Med website.