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Southern Colorado firefighter part of first responder team on recent relief effort to Ukraine

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- A team of first responders, including one from Pueblo County and two from along the Front Range, recently spent a week in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv to bring food and training to citizens in that country's ongoing war with Russia.

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Ross Marsh, of Beulah, was one of six people who traveled for three days to reach Kyiv -- first by flying into Warsaw, Poland before taking a long train ride to their destination.

"Got a text that said in two weeks, can you let me know if you want to go?" he explained. "We're going to go the first week of November. So I talked to my fiancé, my family and my department and they said that they'd support me."

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The team was sent by Project Victory, a nonprofit organization that collects donations for supplies and sends teams to deliver and distribute them.

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Some team members delivered food and toys to families, while the rest of the team trained police officers on how to perform first aid to civilians injured by Russian attacks -- although Kyiv currently isn't occupied by Russian forces.

Project Victory

Marsh said that police are often the first to treat injured civilians until they can get more advanced medical care at a hospital, and that early treatment efforts have been hampered by a lack of quality supplies such as tourniquets.

Project Victory

"There was a problem with cheap tourniquets from other countries that were breaking, being over-tightened and not applied properly," he said. "So, proper and quick application is a life-saving tool in a war zone."

Marsh also said that life has somewhat returned to normal in Kyiv, and that the people are in good spirits as they resist the invading Russians.

Project Victory

"We asked kids who their favorite superhero is, and most of them said soldiers or police officers," he said. "They just have this passion for their officers and the people who are fighting for them. You can really see it, even in the kids."

Marsh said that because Russians previously didn't allow Ukrainians to observe Christmas, the country considers New Year's Eve as its biggest holiday celebration -- and citizens don't plan to let the war ruin that holiday.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

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