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#509918 - 12/14/15 08:26 PM Ambulances donated to San Pedro Town
Marty Offline

San Pedro Town will soon be equipped with two ambulances that have been donated to the local medical facility. One ambulance was acquired in Houston, Texas USA and the other one was donated by the New York Volunteer Fire Company in the USA. The contribution of the ambulances is part of an effort to start an EMS (Emergency Medical Services) system established in San Pedro. Both ambulances are expected to be on the island in early 2016.

The 1992 Ford E450, type III ambulance from New York will be one of the first ambulances on the island that will immensely benefit the town. Efforts to obtain the ambulances began when Dominick Walenczak, a procurement officer helping to connect San Pedro with medical supplies was linked with potential organizations in the United States that could assist with an ambulance. Walenczak began visiting Belize after his parents were living in the country part-time and he became involved with the health system in San Pedro. Now that he is back in New York, he continues to help in the town’s EMS’s program growth.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in The San Pedro Sun


Upper Mountain Fire Department gives the people of San Pedro, Belize, their first ambulance

Those who donated to the Upper Mountain Fire Department to help them purchase a brand new $160,000 ambulance this year will see their donation go even farther – about 3,000 miles farther.

A 1992 E450 Ford ambulance, which is being taken out of commission to make room for the new ambulance, will be donated to the people of San Pedro, Belize.

San Pedro, with about the same population as the Town of Lewiston, is a coastal tourist community in Central America on the Western end of the Caribbean. The English-speaking former British colony, once known as British Honduras, is known for its great beauty – rainforests, Mayan ruins and sandy beaches on the blue sea.

There are tourist areas, but about half the residents live in poverty and don’t have access to proper medical care, said Alex Parmelee.

Parmelee, 48, a medical school graduate who was a Colorado emergency medical technician for 25 years and operations manager for San Pedro Emergency Services, was in Lewiston recently to pick up the donation. He will drive the old ambulance to Miami, where it will be loaded onto a barge for the final leg of its trip to San Pedro.

“San Pedro is about 3,000 miles from here, that’s about from New York to LA. It’s a close neighbor. It’s a community the same size as Lewiston and it’s never had an ambulance – not once,” said Parmelee.

The San Pedro Clinic is set to receive a second donated ambulance from Houston, he added.

San Pedro’s first attempt at an ambulance system was a Tuk Tuk, a three-wheel motorized rickshaw, Parmelee said. Then the clinic upgraded to a pickup truck with a plywood box on the back to transport patients. Parmelee said he has seen people transported to the clinic in the back of a taxi. Once, a man with a broken femur got himself to the clinic by bicycle, he said.

“They are going to be in disbelief when they see this,” Parmelee said of the donated ambulance. “One of their biggest complaints there is a lack of medical care. They know what good health care is. They see it on television.”

Parmelee said he was put in touch with the Upper Mountain Fire Department through Dominick Walenczak, who lives in the area and works for Twin City Ambulance. Walenczak got involved with the San Pedro Clinic while visiting his parents, John Robert and Millie Walenczak-Robert. The Amherst couple live in San Pedro for six months out of the year.

“I guess it’s self-serving. I want good ambulance service for when my parents are living there,” said Walenczak.

Walenczak became the San Pedro’s clinic’s procurement officer. He said when he heard about the Lewiston company buying a new ambulance, he contacted them about donating their used ambulance.

Walenczak said he is also working on getting his credentials in Belize and plans to train ambulance members via online services such as Google and Skype.

In addition to the ambulance, equipment including a stretcher, cardiac monitors and electronics are also being donated.

“It will be the same level of cardiac monitors being used by paramedics at Twin City and Rural/Metro ambulances,” said Walenczak.

An Upper Mountain member and head of the ambulance committee, Jennifer Schultz, said they might have gotten $5,000 if they had sold the box-style truck as a tool truck, but she said donating the old ambulance was “the right thing to do.”

The Upper Mountain Fire Department is one of six volunteer fire companies protecting the Town of Lewiston and is one of the busiest volunteer fire companies in Niagara County, responding to 1,300 to 1,400 calls per year. The company also has a 2002 ambulance, which will remain in service.

Buffalo News


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#515292 - 06/19/16 11:02 AM Re: Ambulances donated to San Pedro Town [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Alex Parmelee fails to deliver ambulances to EMS program

On December of 2015 it was announced that San Pedro Town would soon be equipped with two ambulances that had been donated to the local medical facility. The initiative was part of an attempt to establish an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system spearheaded by EMS expert Alex Parmelee. He was tasked with bringing back the equipment and ambulances, but to date, Parmelee has not made it back to San Pedro.

In January 2016, The San Pedro Sun contacted Parmelee about the delay of the deliveries, and he responded that despite the tardiness all plans were as scheduled. “Currently collecting equipment in USA, lots of equipment will be heading to Belize soon,” he said.

A few months later, when The San Pedro Sun contacted him again about the project, he informed us that nothing was happening and that there were no funds available for the transfer of the ambulances and medical equipment to Belize. “A lot more work needs to be done if a sustainable program is to be in place. These are matters beyond my control,” said Parmelee. He had been asked by Belize Ministry of Health to start the EMS program on the island and with such recommendation it was not difficult to find potential donors who would assist him in getting the project on wheels.

Dominick Walenczak, one of the donors of the program was the main person who made the effort to obtain the ambulances. Walenczak, a procurement officer began putting San Pedro in touch with medical organizations in the USA. However, his interest to help Ambergris Caye’s EMS’s program growth was thwarted after knowing the situation with Parmelee. “I am as disappointed as anyone else about the ambulance situation,” Walenczak told The San Pedro Sun. “I worked hard to secure some quality equipment for the people of Ambergris Caye.” He said that a local volunteer fire company in the USA generously donated their retired ambulance.

Another donor playing a big part in the program was Four Diamonds Security Company. Four Diamonds provided Parmelee with the necessary funds to transport the ambulances and equipment to Belize. A representative from the company explained that once the ambulances were in the country no other expenses would be necessary. The barge company supplying the island with freight to and from Belize City, was willing to transport the medical vehicle and equipment at no cost. They are also very disappointed by Parmelee’s failure to do his part.

In the meantime, legal action will be sought in order to solve the situation and keep the program on its path. Four Diamonds have teamed up with other donors on the island who are determined to see the program become a reality. They believe it is vital for the island in times of emergencies, and by all means it should not fade away. In the upcoming weeks, the new management team taking over the project will be introduced and The San Pedro Sun will update the general public on its development.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos on San Pedro Sun

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#515300 - 06/19/16 12:16 PM Re: Ambulances donated to San Pedro Town [Re: Marty]
klcman Offline
_________________________
_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman

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#515346 - 06/20/16 11:09 PM Re: Ambulances donated to San Pedro Town [Re: Marty]
Inplub Offline
Good question another BZ$300,000 gone/wasted.

"The health support vehicles valued at BZ$300,000 are three-wheeled motorcycles with an attached covered unit equipped with seating and a stretcher to transport patients. The vehicles will NOT be used as a replacement for conventional ambulances but will support the clinic in the transportation of patients for healthcare services assist at health promotion events, social events, mobile clinics use and home visits."


Edited by Inplub (06/20/16 11:10 PM)

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#515366 - 06/21/16 05:12 PM Re: Ambulances donated to San Pedro Town [Re: Marty]
Amanda Syme Offline
There is an ambulance parked up north of the bridge.

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#515367 - 06/21/16 05:33 PM Re: Ambulances donated to San Pedro Town [Re: Marty]
RobertJ Offline
San Pedro is its own worst enemy.

The Powers here are nothing less than embarrassing and inexcusable.

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