10:52 18.04.2024

More than 20 URCS's emergency response teams operating in Ukraine – Director General Dotsenko

2 min read
More than 20 URCS's emergency response teams operating in Ukraine – Director General Dotsenko
Photo: press service URCS

More than 20 emergency response teams of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society (URCS) operate in the Ukrainian government-controlled territory, URCS Director General Maksym Dotsenko has said.

"Today, we have more than 20 emergency response teams. […] They consist of 'adrenaline people' because this is the most dangerous kind of work. Currently, we have around 500 permanent and around 1,000 spontaneous volunteers," he said in an exclusive interview with the Interfax-Ukraine News Agency.

According to the URCS Director General, from the first days of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, emergency response teams in most cases led evacuation columns from Kyiv region (Irpin-Bucha-Borodianka) to the capital, from Sumy to Poltava, from Mariupol.

"We continue the evacuation now in the East and South. We transported people from Kherson and Bakhmut who were unable to leave on their own. We cooperate with Doctors Without Borders [an independent international medical humanitarian organization] and their medical evacuation trains. Ours task is to take people to the evacuation train," Dotsenko said.

He highlighted the fact that the military do not always allow volunteers to enter a particular region, and then URCS volunteers pick up people at a certain point and transport them to safer places in the government-controlled territories of Ukraine.

"The transportation of patients from hospitals is also our area of activity. There were situations when we transported ten to fifteen people from hospitals," Dotsenko said.

At the same time, he noted that the URCS constantly coordinates its actions with the government of Ukraine, local regional organizations, the State Emergency Service on the spots, and with the police.

"The Ukrainian Red Cross is the largest Ukrainian humanitarian organization with a 106-year history, which currently includes about 5,000 employees and about 8,000 volunteers," Dotsenko said.

He also noted that the URCS currently has 24 regional organizations and around 200 district and local branches.

"That is, now we are represented in all regions of Ukraine in line with the administrative and territorial division, except for the occupied territories," Dotsenko said.

According to him, the Ukrainian Red Cross helped more than 12.5 million citizens of Ukraine during more than 700 days of the war.