In a war there are many casualties. Some are large and some small, but all need medical help fast. However, damaged roads mean that it is often impossible for ambulances to reach the injured. This is a problem Tim Bridge from Norfolk hopes to help with. As a keen motorcyclist, he saw the potential of motor bikes to get paramedics to the injured in front line locations which ambulances can’t reach.
He knew a motorcycle dealer in the UK who had a supply of second hand police bikes, which he was willing to sell for cost price for a good cause. So Tim has set up a crowdfunder to raise the money to buy bikes, to stock them with medical supplies, and get them from Norfolk to Ukraine.
The first trip
This is not Tim’s first such venture. In March he was looking for ways to help the people of Ukraine, and made contact with the Pirogov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital. They are a non-governmental organisation of civilian healthcare professionals who volunteer to provide frontline treatment and evacuation for the injured across Ukraine. Their multinational volunteers have been decorated by the Ukrainian government for their work in rescuing injured people from combat zones. They needed medical supplies and communication equipment.
As an engineer, and founder of Norfolk’s electric aircraft company, Tim had acquired over the years a collection of communication and power equipment sitting idle in a shed. Generators and satellite communication equipment could be valuable in field operations in Ukraine, and with a group of friends he raised the money to hire a van, and fill it with equipment and medical supplies. The Pirogov team confirmed what they needed.
Concerned about the prospect of Tim undertaking a 2,500 mile journey single handed, his friend, Andy McNair, volunteered as co-driver. Together they set out from Dereham, driving in shifts on the 40 hour journey to Warsaw. There they met up with Elena, a Canadian doctor who had flown in at her own expense and was enroute to Ukraine to volunteer. Tim and Elena drove the last 200 miles to the Polish-Ukraine border where they handed over the equipment and she joined the Pirogov team.
The next venture: all he needs is funds!
Now Tim hopes to repeat the journey, taking motorbikes stocked with medical supplies. Pirogov have experienced motorcyclists, and the dealer (JRS Motorcycles) has offered to sell up to three bikes at cost price. If he can raise the money, Tim has volunteer riders ready to join him on the journey.
The war is creating thousands of casualties, some will die unless medics can reach them fast, and this is a really practical way of making a difference. Tim would welcome all contributions, however small to the, Crowdfunder.