Ipswich paramedic fundraising to send ambulances to Ukraine

Prehospital Care & Aid Worldwide is fundraising to send ambulances and donations to Ukraine. Inset: Michael Bot.

Prehospital Care & Aid Worldwide is fundraising to send ambulances and donations to Ukraine. Inset: Michael Bot. - Credit: SUPPLIED BY PHCAW

An Ipswich-based paramedic is raising cash to send five ambulances and medical supplies to Ukraine.

Michael Bot, 29, founded Prehospital Care & Aid Worldwide in 2019 after visiting the Calais refugee camp known as 'the jungle'.

Mr Bot, who is a paramedic with the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, said: "As paramedics, we went out there to see what we could to help with an agency.

Michael Bot volunteering in the Calais refugee camp known as 'the jungle'.

Michael Bot volunteering in the Calais refugee camp known as 'the jungle'. - Credit: SUPPLIED BY PHCAW

"We were working out of caravans and helping refugees. When we came home, we thought: 'We could probably do this a bit better.'

"So we started this organisation, and it's grown ever since."

An ambulance that Prehospital Care & Aid Worldwide donated to a clinic in Zimbabwe.

An ambulance that Prehospital Care & Aid Worldwide donated to a clinic in Zimbabwe. - Credit: SUPPLIED BY PHCAW

The charity went on to work in Africa, donating medical supplies and an ambulance as well as teaching paramedics via Zoom during the pandemic.

A donation of medical equipment, including defibrillators, from Prehospital Care & Aid Worldwide to a clinic in Zimbabwe.

A donation of medical equipment, including defibrillators, from Prehospital Care & Aid Worldwide to a clinic in Zimbabwe. - Credit: SUPPLIED BY PHCAW

Then, when the war in Ukraine started in February Mr Bot realised his skills and experience could be put to use.

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The charity is now planning to send ambulances and medical supplies to Ukraine and has already raised around £1,600 of its £5,000 target.

Among the desperately needed supplies are trauma kits including airway equipment and tourniquets along with other vital tools for stopping blood loss.

Mr Bot said: "We found a chap in the Czech Republic who runs a company and he's delivering our medical supplies from there to Ukraine.

"We've already donated a medical air shelter and various bits of medical equipment for them to forward on to the people of Ukraine.

"Our next mission now is to try and get some ambulances over there. We're trying to fundraise about £5,000 to get a few ambulances over, we already got an eye on a couple of them.

Donations that Prehospital Care & Aid Worldwide has already collected for Ukraine – including an inflatable field hospital. 

Donations that Prehospital Care & Aid Worldwide has already collected for Ukraine – including an inflatable field hospital. - Credit: SUPPLIED BY PHCAW

"We really want to push to get these vehicles and any money left over is going to go on medical equipment for them. And then we'll drive them over there – hopefully next month."

The ambulances, Mr Bot says, are former patient transport vehicles and have been offered to him at a knocked down price.

He says they will likely be used to evacuate patients from Ukrainian hospitals which have come under attack in recent weeks.

Mr Bot added that the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, East Anglian Air Ambulance and Norfolk Community Healthcare Trust had donated medical equipment to the appeal.

To find out more and donate click here.