«It's Impossible to Forget the Faces of the Parents Who Lost Their Children», — the Paramedic Who Saved the Victims at the Kramatorsk Railway Station

Stories of brave medical workers: how an emergency paramedic saved people after the Russian terrorist attack at the Kramatorsk railway station.

On April 8, 2022, the railway station in Kramatorsk was shelled. Later it became known that the Russians fired at the station with a Tochka-U rocket. As a result of the shelling, 50 people were killed.

Valerii Ustymenko is an emergency paramedic of the mobile medical team of the Novomoskovsk emergency medical station in Dnipropetrovsk oblast.

His story is published by the «Heartfelt Gratitude» portal of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

«After the tragedy at the Kramatorsk railway station, 71 victims had to be transported to hospitals in Dnipropetrovsk oblast. My ambulance was in the first evacuation convoy of about 15−20 vehicles. We anesthetized all patients because of the long transit time. We observed the dim-out and waited at roadblocks. Not all the injured were taken to Novomoskovsk; they were transported to all the nearest hospitals in the region.

We are always prepared to respond to emergencies because no one knows precisely when the shelling could start.

I am okay working with gunshot, mine-explosive, and bullet wounds. But how can one prepare to look at the faces of parents who have lost their children?

That morning, April 8, after the rocket attack on the railway station in Kramatorsk, we immediately responded to the emergency call. We gathered all our medical teams and, together with a crew from Pavlohrad, we went there in a large convoy of ambulances. No one realized how massive the explosion was.

Local medical teams took the wounded to their hospitals and triaged them.

And from there, we evacuated them to our region. First, we drove up to the hospital that admitted the injured children. There were screams, despair, and tears of parents. I will never forget the looks on their faces. Seeing parents who have lost their children is harrowing. It physically hurts.

Then we went to the hospital that admitted adult victims. Both young people and older adults were among the wounded there. I was put in charge of two patients. The first was a 50-year-old man who had an amputated arm and shrapnel wounds to the abdomen and limbs. He was bedridden, in a severe state. The second one was a 19-year-old boy with shrapnel wounds to his shins. He was with his grandmother at the station; she died there.

We anesthetized our patients because the drive was long.

Due to traffic restrictions, roadblocks, and a dim-out, we drove for two or three hours. There were a lot of cars in our evacuation convoy and 15−20 ambulance crews. Some patients were hospitalized in Pavlohrad, and the rest were taken further.

Cases like this stick in my memory, but such is my duty. We keep doing our work. We respond to emergencies and provide first aid".

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