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North Bay business owners send medical supplies to Ukraine

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Two co-owners of a medical supply store in North Bay recently donated thousands of pieces of equipment to help first responders in Ukraine.

Mathew Lesnick and Evan Smith donated everything from First Aid kits to training CPR dummies, all in a used ambulance.

“Even something simple as setting up a tourniquet there can save somebody there,” said Lesnick, a paramedic himself.

Through the process of opening their business, Gateway First Aid and Supply, Lesnick and Smith had spare medical supplies. A friend of theirs who works for Ornge, was rallying to send an older ambulance to Ukraine.

They jumped on board, sending enough gear to fill up two ambulances.

“So we sent over 6,000 supplies to Ukraine and it ranges everything from pants to uniform jackets, specialized kits and some training defibrillators,” Lesnick said.

“I’m really proud of us,” Smith added.

“I just want to do this bigger and better next time and I want people to just remember this is still going on and we shouldn’t forget about the people in Ukraine.”

The pair took the equipment to Toronto two weeks ago. The ambulance, which was bright yellow, was painted green to protect paramedics using the vehicle in a war zone. It was filled with supplies and sent on its way.

“Being from Thunder Bay, I still travel up north a lot to go to Attawapiskat, Saudi Lake, and do a lot of training up there and I always take extra gear up there just to hand out,” Lesnick said.

The ambulance should be arriving in Ukraine within the next few days.

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