On the Day of the Rescuer, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in the awarding ceremony of the Hero Rescuer of the Year nationwide event, and also congratulated the employees of the State Emergency Service on their professional holiday.
During the celebrations at the Mariinsky Palace, the head of state said that the rescuers are people with big hearts who did not hesitate to come to the rescue and save someone's life.
"They were not looking for fame – some were just traveling by train, some were fishing, and some were returning from school. These are people from different regions of our state, of different ages, different professions, but with the same reaction to other people's trouble: not to pass by, do not to pretend that you do not hear, or that you are suddenly in a hurry to get somewhere, but to help. For all of them, this was the only possible choice. And all of them, these people, are here today. These are recipients of the Hero Rescuer of the Year award," the President said.
Zelenskyy said that this award has been given for 18 years in a row. And although it is sad that people every year find themselves in dangerous situations, but the most terrible year will be when there will be no one to reward, because no one will come to the rescue.
"Therefore, as long as this award is alive, we also live, which means our state as a society, where we are ready to give a helping hand to our neighbor or carry our neighbor in our arms to safety," he said, adding that he spoke about both professional rescuers and ordinary Ukrainians, who did not abandon their neighbor in trouble.
The head of state said that among such brave citizens are many children and adolescents who were not taught to save people in specialized universities, but their parents taught them kindness, non-indifference and helping others.
"It is not surprising that there are so many people in our society in Ukraine. After all, they have a worthy example. These are our respected rescuers, firefighters, mine clearance specialists, helicopter and airplane pilots and all employees of the State Emergency Service," Zelenskyy said.
According to the President, we feel a reliable shoulder of the employees of the State Emergency Service both in Ukraine and abroad.
"During the fires in Greece and Turkey. And during the flood in Zakarpattia region. In collapsed mines underground in the Ukrainian Donbas. During a fire in the Chornobyl zone, fires in Luhansk region. In the west of Ukraine, in Zhytomyr region and Dnipro. In Israel, Montenegro, Poland and, of course, in Georgia," he said.
The head of state said that firefighters, rescuers, mine clearance specialists, rescue aircraft pilots are real heroes of our time who perform heroic acts in real life, and not in Hollywood movies.
"They, unlike anyone else, have no stuntmen, they climb to the 15th floor for real. And the scars on their faces and hands are not makeup. And they really hurt. And irritant smoke, and icy water, and a night of searching in a cold forest or mountains – all this is not a movie, this is for real. And sometimes, unfortunately, they lose their brothers – not through a plot twist, but in reality. Everything is real here, because you are real. Real heroes. And every time we say "Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!" it is about all of you too," Zelenskyy said.
The President congratulated the employees of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine on their professional holiday and gave state awards to them.
Also, the head of state presented the Hero Rescuer of the Year awards. These awards are given to outstanding personalities who have shown courage and heroism in rescuing people, property, eliminating fires, managing accidents, emergencies and natural disasters.
In particular, this year's award recipients are:
- Olena Bendyk, a nurse of the Dobrobut medical and diagnostic center, who saved the life of a man who lost consciousness in a carriage of the Nizhyn-Kyiv train;
- entrepreneur Richard Horda, who, with the help of a spinning rod, brought an 11-year-old boy, who was carried away on an ice floe to the middle of the river, to the riverbank;
- Maksym Motuz, a student of the secondary school No. 3 of the city of Pervomaisk, Mykolaiv region, who helped a first-grader, who fell through the ice, to get to the riverbank;
- Serhiy Tymoshenko, a tractor driver of an agricultural company from the city of Huliaipole, Zaporizhia region, who saved two children, one and five years old, during a fire at a house;
- Iryna Lysenko, senior inspector of the emergency prevention department of the Cherkasy Regional Department of the Main Directorate of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Cherkasy region and Viktor Ternovtsov, the head of the Smila rescue group of the communal diving and rescue unit of the Cherkasy Regional Council, who saved a woman, who was drowning;
- Anna Stoliaruk, a student of the Mariupol vocational construction school, who rescued her six brothers and sisters during a fire at their house before the arrival of fire and rescue units;
- Tetiana Tulaidan, a 7th grade student of the Yasinia secondary school No. 1 of Rakhiv district of Zakarpattia region, who during the flood rescued her seven-year-old brother and three neighboring children from the high water, which at that time reached one meter;
- Oleksandr Sokolov, a fixed-route minibus driver from the city of Kryvy Rih, who promptly took to the hospital a passenger who had a hypertensive crisis;
- Yuriy Holinka and Serhiy Tsisarsky, the doctors-anesthesiologists of the intensive care and anesthesiology department of the Ternopil Regional Children's Clinical Hospital, who during their holidays rescued a three-year-old girl from death who was drowning in a pool of the water park. The cardiopulmonary resuscitation they performed lasted about ten minutes and was successful;
- Liudmila Simanenko a pensioner from the village of Dobriana, Nova Odesa district of Mykolaiv region, who rescued three neighboring children during a fire while their parents were not at home.