Work at height: how mountain rescuers work in Kharkiv |  News of Kharkiv and Ukraine

Work at height: how mountain rescuers work in Kharkiv | News of Kharkiv and Ukraine

Rescuing people from rubble, eliminating the consequences of shelling and dismantling dangerous structures. And all this – in high-rise buildings, at a height. Serhiy’s specialty is a mountaineer rescuer, so in addition to the usual tools, the car also has specific equipment. The largest amount of work had to be done in Saltivka.

Serhiy Belous, chief of the guard of the DPRCH No. 8 of Kharkiv

We filmed the emergency part. We did not touch what no longer threatened the population; restoration services and construction organizations are now engaged in this. There were also some infrastructure facilities on which we worked, they have their own specifics, we need to quickly complete the work so that specialists can restore electricity, water supply, and heat supply.

During periods of active shelling of the city, it was necessary to work as quickly as possible in order not to come under repeated fire from the occupiers.

Serhiy Belous, chief of the guard of the DPRCH No. 8 of Kharkiv

We arrived at Tankopia on a call, where there was a shell hit, it was destroyed on one side of the house up to the 3rd floor, on the other side – up to the 4th floor. We rescued a man and a woman. The woman was taken out quickly, but it was more difficult with the man, his hand was clamped. And I had to get into this blockage. And at that moment, repeated shelling began, and I was under the stove. And it was scary – whether it would move or not move, how stable it was fixed.

Destruction of the top three floors in a 16-story building. One of the apartments contains the bodies of the dead.

Serhiy Belous, chief of the guard of the DPRCH No. 8 of Kharkiv

This call was on Bolshaya Koltsevaya, a 6-storey building, the destruction of three floors, here we removed 4 dead. A family of 3 people sat down to have lunch and at that moment a shell hit. And the 4th person is a neighbor, he was brought into the neighboring apartment by a shock wave. We first made a search for people, they were crushed by the plates. Then they removed the bodies and handed over the bodies to the police.

Mountaineers-rescuers were also involved in liquidation of the consequences of a rocket attack on the regional administration.

Serhiy Belous, chief of the guard of the DPRCH No. 8 of Kharkiv

We received a call a few days later, when the first work was completed. We had to dismantle the elements of the ceiling, which did not allow further search and rescue work.

Volunteers from many countries helped the rescuers: Americans, Canadians, Australians, Germans, Poles. They admit that no one had to work in such extreme conditions.

Serhiy Belous, chief of the guard of the DPRCH No. 8 of Kharkiv

They are more pedantic, they have all the algorithms spelled out how to act. But they did not work in such conditions as we do. Firstly, this is constant destruction, and secondly, this is the threat of repeated shelling, everything had to be done as quickly and safely as possible. And they wouldn’t be able to.

A speleologist from Poland had already worked with Kharkiv emergency workers and now came again to stay for the whole winter. Jerzy coordinates humanitarian aid from a Polish charitable foundation.

Jerzy Yurchynskyi, volunteer

I was here in the summer, I worked with firefighters on the roofs, I’m an underground climber, a caver. And we met and became friends, and I returned to Kharkov for the winter. Because there was one thing in the summer, and now there are critical moments, and this one is scary. Maybe the missiles do not arrive and there are no explosions, but this is a humanitarian war. Every day we look at the weather forecast, the frost has come, we call Poland, we buy generators and everything to keep it warm this winter, here in Kharkov and in the region. Firefighters are heroes, but those who, like Sergei, work at heights, on rooftops, are superprofessionals. Because when you work at height, on the roof, death can come to you from any direction. One mistake and there will be death. And when you work during the war, you don’t know anything at all – bombs come here, there is a cliff. This is a great professionalism and courage. That’s great.

Thanks to Jerzy, one of the fire departments received two brand new, fully equipped special vehicles.

Roman Kachanov, head of the DPRC No. 11 in Kharkiv

We had an arrival at Industrialny. He says – I will go with you. We drove old ZILs, two cars were under repair. What does he say? I am like that. There were four dead, great destruction from Hail. He immediately got in touch with his office and they say – how can we help you. I say – give two fire trucks. And he says – well, we will think about it.

The machine works at full capacity, and with this equipment I already had to save a life.

Roman Kachanov, head of the DPRC No. 11 in Kharkiv

The grandfather was found on Jasmine Boulevard. All you need is a chainsaw and these very nice devices. This is a jack, and these are the “jaws of life.” They can cut, crush, work on batteries. The whole world works for them. And it is very important to switch to it, because it is speed, and speed is time and life.

Kharkiv rescuers receive international aid all the time. Thus, special vehicles with additional water tanks allow you to perform tasks in conditions of constant attacks on critical infrastructure facilities.

Oleksandr Volobuev, Head of State Emergency Service Department in Kharkiv region.

During the bombings, electricity is cut off, there is no water supply, and only because we call more tanker trucks with a large volume of water – it is easier for us to put out fires and eliminate emergency situations.

The latest arrival from Poland is generators and devices for the protection of the organs of sight and breathing.

Work at height: how mountaineer rescuers work in Kharkiv 5


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