Letter to the Editor: NFAT says Thanks

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the First Aid Team Responders/Paramedics (NFAT) from Belize City, I want to thank those that were kind enough to support the community of San Pedro and the Costa Maya Festival.

We were able to get great support from the Administrator of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II, Mr. Owen Vellos, with supplies, coordination of meeting with physicians and the founder, Darwin Slusher. Thank you to EMT/Paramedic, Director General Mr. Owen Sanchez, paramedic with 20+years from Belize City ambulance services, as well as all fourteen EMTs and paramedics. They were able to arrive on the island thanks to free travel via the island water taxis. We thank Mr. Dominguez of the San Pedro Fire Department for providing accommodations for the team. We extend our gratitude to Ms. Robinson, Assistant Superintendent and Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Department, who fully supported us to the best of her abilities.

Special appreciation goes out to Dr. Noeli. Nicholson, M.D., who was on call for the four days. She was and is one of the very best myself and the team has ever worked with. Her expertise in medicine is exceptional. We also thank Dr. Laurenzco Nicholson, M.D. and Dr. Javier Zuniga M.D. Without these individual’s help, we could not have functioned as well as we did. We had no idea what to expect since the service had never really been attempted before, and we are thankful that it worked out as well as it did.

We thank Mr. Alfonso Castillo at Castillo’s Hardware and Caye Mart for ice, fluids, food, and support of the needs of the paramedics while on duty, as well when they were on down time resting for the next round of shifts. The Costa Maya Committee supplied us with a booth at the grounds, which was greatly appreciated and we hope that in the future, the same will be offered to us at any community event.

We were finally able to get the Town Council to donate a golf cart for transportation of injured to the clinic. As well, we extend much appreciation to the dive shops that donated their boats and time to transport patients to the mainland for more extensive care. Overall, with such short notice and short response time from the Town Council and Mayor’s Office, which we did not anticipate, all went very well. We covered over 35 calls, most of which we were able to handle without having to contact the doctor. There were a few exceptions, and for those injuries that required MD intervention, Dr. Nicholson was on hand to provide her exceptional service.

It is only a hope and prayer that “someday” the Town Council and Mayor will support this service for the good of the community. This is a service that can be done on a regular basis and would take a very large load off the Fire Department and local Police. They have enough to do without trying to play the part of ambulance, calling MD’s and just getting involved with situations they are ill-equipped to handle. At the end of the day, they have much bigger things to tend to, and the First Aid Team can lend its support to ease that burden.

Any comments, suggestions or questions can be sent to our email address: [email protected]. Phone calls can be made to 628-3836, or to the local person in command on the island, Nurse Edwards, R.N. at 631-7440, or Mr. Alpuche, EMR at 628-3836. Any ideas or donations will be gladly accepted and used for patient care only, with the intent of securing a mobile unit to respond and transport patients to the clinic or to the marine vessels willing to take Patients to the mainland immediately, as they did several times over the course of the Festival.

Again, thanks to all,

N.F.A.T. and all its personnel!!!

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