S.D. FF in Ukraine removes bodies from rubble, fights fires

Greg Zimmerman and 11 other U.S. firefighters with Project Joint Guardian have been focused on Kyiv

By Leila Merrill

KYIV, Ukraine — Greg Zimmerman, a firefighter with Wentworth Fire & Rescue in South Dakota, has been participating in search and rescue operations in Ukraine as part of a group of firefighters called Project Joint Guardian.

The volunteer firefighter has pulled many bodies out from the rubble of buildings destroyed in Russian attacks, KELO reported Monday.

“When a building collapse happens, it takes a large amount of manpower and a large amount of expertise to use tools in certain ways to find people who are trapped in the rubble,” Zimmerman said.

A group of 12 U.S. firefighters is in Ukraine helping with search and rescue work in and around Kyiv.

“Just like in South Dakota, a lot of the small town departments don’t have the funds to get even a hydraulic set of tools, so we are taking these tools to smaller towns because the Russians didn’t discriminate on town sizes when they were shelling,” Zimmerman said.

The firefighters also have responded to fires and have rescued pets.


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