Our Landy ambulance was an integral part of our Ukraine team for a long time. Photo: Chris Grodotzki/CADUS

Welcome back, Landy!

A motorized employee who has been active in Ukraine since the first hours of our mission has returned to us in Berlin. Without our vehicles, our medical emergency trips would be inconceivable. An occasion for us to pay tribute to our vehicles in an article and take a closer look at them.

Vehicles have played an important role in our operations right from the start. In 2016, we built the mobile hospital from two almost scrap-ready trucks, in 2018 we transformed a van into a mobile treatment unit for Bosnia, in 2022 we built an intensive care unit based on a bus and in 2023 we converted a former police command vehicle into a mobile medical practice. To name just a few examples.

We also started the mission in Ukraine from March 2022 with an ambulance. In view of the unclear situation on the ground and in anticipation of poor roads and destroyed infrastructure, we opted for a four-wheel drive vehicle from the Swiss mountain rescue service.

A look inside the box body: this is where the patients are cared for by our team. Photo: CADUS

The Landy as a workhorse

After an intensive check-up and replenishment of medical equipment, the first team set off in the direction of Lviv. There we started to bring patients from endangered areas to safe hospitals in Poland or western Ukraine. We were able to carry out dozens of so-called MedEvacs with our trusty Landy. However, the need in Ukraine was so great that we soon had more ambulances to support the Landy and at times four more of our ambulances were in use.

Our motorized employee has bravely covered kilometer after kilometer in this huge, encircled country. However, as with all used vehicles, unexpected damage can occur. Especially under such demanding conditions as in Ukraine. We had to have our vehicles repaired on site several times. Challenging for operational planning, but fortunately usually more or less quickly remedied.

Our Landy on a mission in April 2022. Photo: CADUS

As part of the rescue chain in Ukraine, our RTW-Landy, together with the vehicles of many other organizations, brought patients from eastern Ukraine to safety who were evacuated by hospital train. Photo: CADUS

Landy vs. armored barrier

Until our Landy ambulance collided with an anti-tank barrier at night in December 2022 in poor visibility. Luckily, things ended on a happy note for our human team members. However, this accident reminded the entire team once again that, in addition to the fundamental risk in a war zone, the seemingly everyday dangers do not disappear. In fact, traffic is one of the main causes of injury and death for humanitarian aid workers in each country.

We were able to finance the repairs after the accident with the help of our donors. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Photo: CADUS

Only our motorized employee was badly hit in this accident. The right front was completely destroyed, the wheel suspension demolished and the front axle cracked. The Landy was still being patched up in the Ukraine, but we used it less and less. It is simply not designed for continuous use over long distances and offers too little space for the necessary equipment and personnel for the transportation of intensive care patients.

Vehicle care and maintenance is also part of the job during the assignment. Here, however, a colleague of the Landy is being cleaned. Photo: CADUS

In the end, we withdrew him from Ukraine altogether. When we arrived in Berlin, we gave the vehicle a new paint job as a thank you and to make it easier to identify as an ambulance. In war zones in particular, recognizability as a medical vehicle is an important safety factor: at least on paper, they are protected from attack by international law.

New paint for new deeds. Only the rivet scar above the right front wheel bears witness to the accident. Photo: CADUS

Despite the paintwork, you can see the Landy’s use, the large scar from the accident is still clearly visible on the front. But that doesn’t stop our four-wheeled employee from being ready for new assignments after intensive maintenance.

Unfortunately, the next crisis is bound to come. But we are prepared.

By CadusPR

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