Channahon Resident Using His EMT Training 3 Feet From the Ukrainian Border – Shaw Local


In February 2021, Ryan Chocholek of Channahon won a $50 gift card and a sweatshirt for co-winning the Biggest Loser Fitness Premier contest in Minooka.

On Monday, Chocholek said he was a meter from the Ukrainian border “helping refugees just as they cross”.

Neither Nick Haase, assistant manager at Premier Fitness, nor Josh Biba, manager/operator at Premier Fitness, were surprised that Chocholek, a member of the fitness club for two years, went to Poland.

Biba said Chocholek was “a good guy” and Haase agreed.

“Whenever someone is going through a tough time, they go out of their way to help them,” Haase said.

Chocholek, 25, said he left for Poland on March 8. He previously worked as a traveling emergency medical technician for the Federal Emergency Management Agency as an independent contractor, he said.

“I quit my job to come here because this is where people needed help,” Chocholek said in a private message on Facebook. “A lot of people can watch these atrocities on CNN or Fox News and go back to eating peacefully, but I can’t. So I booked a plane ticket here and figured it out as I went.

Ryan Chocholek, 25, from Channahon, (front and centre) left for Poland on Tuesday March 8, 2022. He is using his training as an emergency medical technician to run a medical tent near the Ukrainian border.  He is pictured with his siblings (left to right): Gianna Danno, Megan Chocholek and Giovanni Danno The name of the family dog ​​is June.

Chocholek said he was running a medical tent near the Ukrainian border and transporting medical equipment across the border into Ukraine. The tent was already pitched; it jumped when the previous staff left.

He has no money because he quit his job, so he stays in the tent, helping the refugees and the injured, he said.

Chocholek said he sees a range of injuries.

“We’re here to treat everything from headaches and nausea to gunshots and burns,” Chocholek said.

Chocolek’s mother, Liza Danno of Channahon, said her son announced his intention to help about two weeks ago. She is both proud and scared for him.

“At first I thought he was having fun,” Danno said. “But I got a picture of him in Poland, so he wasn’t kidding.”

Danno said Chocholek always talked about serving in the military, which he did. Danno said Chocholek entered the military shortly after graduating from Minooka High School and was deployed to Afghanistan twice, she said.

“When he was there, he had medical training,” Danno said. “It snowballed from there.”

Ryan Chocholek, 25, from Channahon, left for Poland on March 8.  He uses his training as an emergency medical technician to run a medical tent near the Ukrainian border.  He is also a graduate of the Romeoville Fire Academy.

Chocholek said he was honorably discharged from the army three days before he left for Poland. His active duty ended in November 2020. In February 2021, he enrolled in the Romeoville Fire Academy, he said.

He ignored any praise for his current work in Poland.

“In my eyes, I don’t think it’s bravery instead of just doing the right thing,” Chocholek said.

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