Paramedics from Cornwall head to war-torn Ukraine to give lifesaving training to firefighters

  • Watch Claire Manning's report

A team of paramedics from Cornwall are driving two ambulances to Ukraine to help train the Ukrainian firefighters in emergency medical care.

The two-week trip has been organised by the not-for-profit company Outreach Paramedics.

The team is made up of three paramedics and one member of a search and rescue team. They will visit a number of fire stations in Ukraine to train state fire service personnel in pre-hospital emergency care, trauma and life support.

Co-founder of Outreach Paramedics and one of the volunteers going to Ukraine, Faye Shepherd, told ITV News West Country that while she knows she faces danger going into Ukraine, she is looking forward to making a difference.

The paramedics leaving their base in Cornwall Credit: ITV West Country

She said: "I like the thought of really helping people who are in desperate need and at the moment in my job I am not able to do that in the way that I would like, often in the UK we are seen waiting outside of hospitals but this is something that's going to be really fulfilling.

"Knowing that the training we are providing will save lives, whereas at the moment we are looking after people in the back of an ambulance as best we can and that is often heartbreaking because we can't do our jobs."

It costs around £10,000 to send each fully equipped ambulance with two volunteers on board to Ukraine for two weeks.

Decland Sarsfield, the co-founder of Outreach Paramedics, said: "We hope that more paramedics see what we are trying to create here and see the good that they can do elsewhere outside of their job because their skills are needed."

Since war broke out in Ukraine, the state fire service has been responding to medical emergencies without much medical training, helping to free severely injured patients from the frontline and dealing with civilian casualties.

The volunteer team heading over from Cornwall will spend two weeks in Ukraine and hope to travel around the country and train around 125 firefighters.