Dedicated Welsh ambulance staff deliver aid to Ukraine
UK-based ambulance staff have been delivering medical equipment, vehicles and aid to war-torn Ukraine.
David ‘Dai’ Morris, an advanced paramedic practitioner for the Welsh Ambulance Service, has driven on several occasions up to 2,000 miles from his home in South Wales to Ukraine.
He has managed to transport with the help of others, up to 40 decommissioned emergency vehicles, filled with medical aid, including intensive care equipment, paramedic trauma equipment, generators, maternity and paediatric equipment along with first aid provisions.
This will help bring vital lifesaving care to Ukrainians remaining in towns and cities under attack from Russia.
“Being ex-military, the sights of civilian refugees and civilian casualties stirred something inside of me that made me want to do whatever I could to help,” he said.
“As a result, I have travelled alone as well as with others and several charities to take ambulances as well as medical equipment and aid from the UK to Ukraine.
“My first trip was an eye opener. Evidence of conflict, deprivation and suffering is everywhere.
“I left with three other people and took four decommissioned ambulances, filled with medical provisions designated for Lviv.
“As we had driven the ambulances there, our journey back started on foot, before we were able to get a bus, then train and connecting flight back.
“I missed my connecting train as I had decided that I would spend my remaining money on 50 Big Mac Meals and 75 Happy Meals for the women and child refugees I met.”
On his second trip, Mr Morris secured a decommissioned emergency ambulance from a private ambulance service in Kent, along with two decommissioned rapid response vehicles, destined for the Donbas Region.
“On this trip, while I drove the ambulance, the rapid response vehicles were crewed by an anaesthetist and her husband and the other by a nurse and a midwife,” he said
“All vehicles were filled with medical provisions and delivered to a children’s hospital.
“On the way, we met a GP from North Wales and his friend, driving a large articulated lorry that was filled with humanitarian goods for Ukraine.”
Since these initial journeys, Mr Morris has made multiple more, including a recent trip with his wife Anne Morris who is also an advanced paramedic practitioner for the trust.
They have two children and one grandson, and also have a combined total of 60 years service within the NHS.
Mrs Morris said: “I spent my annual leave preparing for the journey, collecting the decommissioned rapid response vehicle that was previously used in Flintshire.
“I then spent time collecting medical supplies, I even had some items posted to me by members of the public who wanted to help the Ukrainian medical services.
“As a result of traffic delays, it took me just over 48 hours to deliver the vehicle and aid.
“But I was very happy to see them collected and to see my husband.
“Dai and I had a few days training people on the vehicles and teaching first aid before heading back to the UK.”
Although back home, they both continue to help the people of Ukraine, and with sixteen ambulances having been lost during the conflict, they continue to fundraise.
Jason Killens, chief executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, added: “For David and Anne to also be helping aid the people of Ukraine in their free time is phenomenal.
“Like so many people around the world, I have watched on with great sadness at the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and it is gratifying to see members of the Welsh Ambulance Service going that extra mile to help.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.