Disclaimer: This article is the last part of a four-part series. This series will discuss sensitive matters pertaining to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
After spending weeks in Ukraine amidst the ongoing war, Jordan Searle, a local paramedic with Ornge Air ambulance, is sharing his story in hopes of bringing more attention to the crisis.
Throughout his time in the country, Searle and his team were able to bring multiple fully stocked ambulances into the Kyiv conflict zone, they provided aid to the wounded civilians, created a fully operational combat medical clinic in a dental office and trained 30 Ukrainian people to operate the clinic, and finally, they assisted the local governments of Bucha and Irpin with body recovery and burials.
Searle has been back in Canada for a few weeks now but even from a distance of 8000km, he is still working tirelessly to support his remaining team members back in Ukraine while also gathering support from Canadians.
“I’d like to thank the people who are still keeping this at the forefront of their minds – keeping this discussion going. Canada as a country has always been known as the ‘helpers of the world’ in essence. I have seen a lot of really good help from Canadian citizens,” said Searle.
Searle made it clear that he was more than happy to help give an inside look and extra expertise to anyone who is interested in helping Ukraine in some way.
“I am more than happy to help with any groups here who want a bird's eye view as to what is going on over there or if they would like to chat about anything – I am more than happy to do that.”
With half of his team still in the war zone and so much more to be done for the country, Searle is planning on heading back to Ukraine at some point in the near future.
He is in the process of reaching out to large organizations to gather more supplies before heading back. Not only are they short on food and medical supplies but according to Searle, between the bombing, gunfire and horrible road conditions, most of the original ambulances they took over have been destroyed and run down.
He has now set up a digital fundraiser for anyone who would like to help contribute to his team's relief efforts. With a goal of $50,000, Searle hopes they can arrange for more specialized 4x4 ambulances to be brought to the country as the normal style of the ambulance is no longer successful due to the mass destruction.
“I don’t like asking people for money or resources because you know, things aren’t getting easier for the general population in Canada to live anyway – but I am willing to talk to anyone who wants to discuss this or if anyone thinks they may be able to put up a refugee family... I think these conversations need to [happen].”
“Just because the sun is out and the lake ice has come undone [here], we can’t forget that people are still fighting for their lives across the world and unfortunately, children are still suffering because of it.”
Searle not only put his life in the line of danger to provide this humongous act of kindness but he revealed in his interview that he in fact purchased over $20,000 of supplies for the Ukrainian efforts using his own money.
Searle commented on how even the littlest acts of kindness provide the biggest moral boosts for his team back in Ukraine and even the Ukrainian people themselves.
“I see a lot of Ukrainian flags flying around town and outside City Hall which I was amazed about. I was very proud and I sent a picture of the town hall clock tower and the flags flying to the guys back in Ukraine and they were just over the moon [about it]. They were like ‘that's absolutely fantastic!’ The pride of just something as simple as flying that flag gives them that extra boost.”
“We were just a bunch of guys that got together and just went ‘let's do this, let’s get it done.’ Now we have saved a bunch of lives doing it. I’d like to think that we will continue to save lives with just the training we have provided and the minimal equipment we have given them. It makes me proud that people are still trying to support us.”
To bring his story to a conclusion, Searle reinforced the need to keep the conversation going. It is easy to pretend like it isn't happening when it's happening on the other side of the world, but unless we show our support for the Ukrainians, work together, and stand up to the atrocious war crimes of Vladimir Putin - this will never stop.
"They don't want us to forget about them," concluded Searle.
This is the final part of this four-part series, you can read the previous parts by following the links down below. If you would like to donate money to Searle's cause, you can find the fundraiser HERE
You can listen to the full interview here: