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HomeLocal NewsNew MexicoAlbuquerque Fire Rescue donates decommissioned ambulance to Ukraine

Albuquerque Fire Rescue donates decommissioned ambulance to Ukraine

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  It helped carry thousands of people in medical emergencies through Albuquerque for years. Now the city is donating a decommissioned ambulance to help thousands of people in the war-torn country of Ukraine.  

“I want to thank everyone who helped us who stay with Ukraine,” said Nataliya Edelman, with Ukrainian Americans of New Mexico.  

The second largest city in Ukraine will soon have a piece of New Mexico’s largest city helping on its streets. AFR is donating a decommissioned ambulance which will now make its way to the sister city of Kharkiv. “A first time a city such as Albuquerque entered into that type of relationship with a city in crisis,” said Max Gruner CABQ economic development director.  

 Some Ukrainians now living in New Mexico say they’re emotional over the donation. “Our dream come true… To get the ambulance set up and sent into Ukraine, in the hardship and cruelty of war, the hand of help stretching as far as from Albuquerque to Kharkiv” said Larysa Castillo, Ukrainian Americans of New Mexico President. 

The unit has been helping Albuquerque out since 2011 and now, it heads over thousands of miles away to help those in Kharkiv, Ukraine. “Random senseless destruction the point of an ambulance like this not a smaller one you can put a lot of wounded in here,” said George Klapischak chair of the Kharkiv sister city project.  

 “For us as a department, anytime we can help any other department we are happy to do so,” Jason Fejer, Albuquerque Fire Rescue.  

Finding a way to get the ambulance to Ukraine has come with some rerouting as it was originally supposed to head through Baltimore before the bridge collapse. Now, the ambulance will be heading through Texas to begin its two-month journey to Kharkiv. 

Before it was sent off on Monday, New Mexicans wrote messages of hope on the side of the rescue unit. “Freedom is the greatest gift God can give a person and we value that, and we feel that New Mexico understands that as well,” said Klapischak. 

Albuquerque entered into its sister city agreement with Kharkiv last June—one of eleven total sister cities. 

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