More U.S. medics travel to help Ukrainians

Some U.S. medics have deployed with Team Rubicon, and one started his own nonprofit

By Leila Merrill

MEDWAY, Mass. — More American paramedics have been heading to Europe to help Ukrainians.

Alexander Smirnov, a paramedic from Medway, Mass., has taken a leave of absence from his job. He started a nonprofit, Global Disaster Relief Team, and recruited friends to join him in working at a pop-up medical station for refugees.

People from Ukraine crossed the border in Medyka, Poland, on March 5.
People from Ukraine crossed the border in Medyka, Poland, on March 5. (Photo/Markus Schreiber/Associated Press)

The team, which includes nurses, is in Poland, GBH reported. Their mission includes providing medical triage, first aid and working to gather and transport medical supplies.

“I’ll be frank, it’s hell here. It’s a real hell on earth,” Smirnov said. 

Another group, which includes about 20 paramedics and doctors, departed from Washington to help refugees, 7News reported Wednesday. They are with Team Rubicon.  

And Frank Minitello, a retired paramedic-firefighter who worked in Los Angeles, has joined the International Legion of Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine and plans to be there for 90 days, the Daily Scanner reported.

“What I’m doing is simply to help others in their time in need.  I can say I’m tired of sitting on the couch and watching others suffer so I’m going to go there and help make a difference,” he said.

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