Colorado Paramedic Traveling To Ukraine To Help: ‘Absolutely Terrified’

by Taylor Cunningham

A Denver-based paramedic is heading to Ukraine to offer his medical skills to people trapped on the front lines. The man’s employer has granted him an extended leave, and he will fly into Poland later this month. While he’s “absolutely terrified” to join the fight, he believes that “sacrifice is part of the game.”

At a Glance

  • A Colorado paramedic is flying to Ukraine to offer his services to soldiers and citizen under Russian attack.
  • He realized that if fear was the only thing holding him back from joining the front lines, then he’s not doing his job.
  • The paramedic’s employer granted him a six month leave of absence and he bought a one way ticket into Poland.
  • While there, he will travel with other medical professionals and help with traumtic injuries.

Denver Paramedic Joining the Ukraine ‘International Legion’

The man, who asked CBS 4 to only use his first name, Greg, for security reasons, works out of a Colorado hospital. And ever since the Russian invasion last month, he’s been considering making a trip overseas to offer his medical experience to the Ukrainian people.

After sitting with the idea for some time, he decided the country needs him. So despite how terrified he is to willingly walk into a war zone, he made arrangements to go. Greg will fly out in less than two weeks.

“There’s a lot of people who need healthcare over there right now and very few who are going to be able to get it. I can’t overstate the amount of fear that I have going into a conflict zone and leaving behind what I do. I am absolutely terrified,” he said.

Greg acknowledged that he became a paramedic to be a first responder and save lives. And he said that “if the only thing stopping me from delivering medical care is fear then I’m not doing my job.”

Paramedic Bought a One-Way Ticket to Join Medical Professionals Who Are Treating Traumatic Injuries

As soon as Greg made the decision, he committed himself for the long haul. He bought a one-way ticket into Warsaw, Poland, and asked his hospital for a six-month leave of absence. Once he lands, he’ll cross into Ukraine and join an organization working on the front lines.

Greg did not reveal the name of the group.

“He is extraordinary,” a doctor who works with the paramedic told CBS. “This is very consistent with who he is.”

“He is so acutely aware of having something he can give to others in the quietest, most humble way I’ve seen in a human,” he continued.

To help him prepare for the trip, his co-workers raised more than $1,000 to purchase necessary supplies. With the money, he bought a gas mask, body armor, and a helmet.

But while the hospital employees are supporting Greg’s decision, his parents feel differently. And they’ve attempted to change his mind on many occasions.

“I’m committed to doing as much good to as many people in this world as possible,” he said. “If I’m not going to be delivering that good, then who is? If I’m not following through on my moral convictions I figure I’m doing something wrong with my life.”

While there, Greg will serve as part of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s “international legion,” which is a group of volunteers he called on to join the fight.

The paramedic will not be stationed in one place during his leave. Instead, he will travel wherever patients need him, and he will help doctors and nurses deal with traumatic injuries.