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Getting emergency resources into Ukraine

As donated vehicles are destroyed by hostile action – more ambulances, fire trucks and SUVs are needed

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This episode of EMS One-Stop With Rob Lawrence is brought to you by Lexipol, the experts in policy, training, wellness support and grants assistance for first responders and government leaders. To learn more, visit

Click here to watch a video of this week’s podcast, with host Rob Lawrence and guest Chris Manson!

Ambulances for Ukraine lead Chris Manson returns to provide an update on the program that is now not only sending ambulances, but also fire trucks and SUVs to Ukraine. To date. U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine has delivered 38 ambulances and 6 fire trucks to Ukraine. A further 12 ambulances, 2 fire engines and several SUVs are to be shipped in July.

Host Rob Lawrence and Chris recap the program so far and the tasks that the donated vehicles are be put to in country. Sadly, some of the ambulances donated earlier in the year have been destroyed due to hostile action. Chris issues a further call to action for donating ambulances, fire trucks and SUVs. Ukraine has now moved from defensive to offensive operations, and every vehicle is needed. As Chris describes, “If anyone gives me an ambulance, a fire engine or an SUV, I will get that vehicle into the fight.”

In the video edition of this episode of EMS One-Stop, Chris has provided photos of the vehicles on their way to Ukraine as well as images and video of the vehicles in action and the brave crews on the front lines that operate them.


“The reality is the Russians in this conflict are targeting first responders, and it is one of the things they like to do. They will shell an area, cause havoc in an area with some sort of military strike, and then they will wait until the first responders respond, and when they do, they will target them.”

“Like any firefighter in any city department, what’s the first thing you want to do when a kid wanders around the fire truck? You want to sit them in the seat or put the helmet on right? So we put the first kid in, got them out, put the second kid in, I turned around and 20 kids are lined up. I went through those 20 kids and the 20 turned into 100, it felt like the entire town came out.”

“I feel fairly confident now, that several of those vehicles have been destroyed.”

“If anyone gives me an ambulance, a fire engine or an SUV, I will get that vehicle into the fight.”

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0:30 – Rob intro

01:17 – Introduction Chris Manson

01:38 – U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine backstory

04:53 – Why would we give serviceable ambulances to Ukraine if we still have a shortage in the U.S.?

06:38 – Current stats of vehicles donated

07:30 – The logistics of shipping a vehicle to Ukraine

10:34 – The road drive from Germany and through Poland

11:21 – Tracking ambulances – a big no-no!

12:40 – Distribution of vehicles in Ukraine

14:36 – The moment Chris arrives to hand over a vehicle down range

16:50 – Vehicles in military units liveried into camouflage paint

19:00 – The need for fire trucks and SUV/patrol vehicles

22:01 – Call to action – we need ambulances, fire trucks and SUVs – now!

24:00 – Where the fire trucks are deployed

25:15 – The Ukrainians can fix anything (so it doesn’t matter if the donated vehicle has a few faults)

27:55 – Final thoughts


Chris Manson is the vice president of government relations for OSF HealthCare, a 15-hospital health system operating out of Peoria, Ill. He is a former firefighter from California and he served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.


U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine @ambulancesU

Rob Lawrence has been a leader in civilian and military EMS for over a quarter of a century. He is currently the director of strategic implementation for PRO EMS and its educational arm, Prodigy EMS, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and part-time executive director of the California Ambulance Association.

He previously served as the chief operating officer of the Richmond Ambulance Authority (Virginia), which won both state and national EMS Agency of the Year awards during his 10-year tenure. Additionally, he served as COO for Paramedics Plus in Alameda County, California.

Prior to emigrating to the U.S. in 2008, Rob served as the COO for the East of England Ambulance Service in Suffolk County, England, and as the executive director of operations and service development for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust. Rob is a former Army officer and graduate of the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served worldwide in a 20-year military career encompassing many prehospital and evacuation leadership roles.

Rob is a board member of the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) as well as chair of the American Ambulance Association’s State Association Forum. He writes and podcasts for EMS1 and is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Connect with him on Twitter.

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