In January 2012, EMPACT NW members traveled to Haiti to start the process of forming Haiti's first comprehensive medical emergency and pre hospital care and transport system.
This project named Port Au Prince Medic One (PAPMO) is run by EMPACT Northwest and its dedicated group of volunteers from the Pacific Northwest USA. PAPMO graduated Haiti's first class of EMT's in September of 2011.
On January 26th, EMPACT/PAPMO administrative members were joined by many other organizations with the common goals of effective emergency medical services in Haiti. EMPACT hosted a one day mini conference with the goals of forming a working consortium among the many organizations. These organizations are:
EMPACT Northwest, Project Medishare, AIMER Haiti, NOAH NY, Global DIRT, JP HRO, Haitian National Police, St John Canada, Adventist Hospital Haiti, GAI, Project Hope, Lend a Hand and Foot, Banshee Organization (FDNY EMS), Village Health, and Haiti Hospital Appeal.
After brief introductions, we are proud to announce that all members agreed to form a consortium (Ayisyen Rezo Medikal, Haitian Medical Group). We identified how to leverage our common goals while empowering individual expertise. We were quickly able to form working committees and set short and long term goals. A recent triumph was the submission of our project goal to President Martelly, by personal meeting with our consortium spokesperson Dr Enrique Ginsburg of Project Medishare. The involved organizations have taken on various tasks from political representation, working with the minister of health, to operational, educational and financial obligations.
EMPACT NW, has committed to continued efforts in the education of EMT's in Haiti. We will hold two more classes this year. Our consortium partners have agreed to sponsor students and employ them upon successful graduation. EMPACT NW has committed to assisting these consortium organizations with staffing support by payroll assistance and back-filling vacancies. GAI (Gwoup Aysiyen Pou Ijans) is a group of Haitians who also recently graduated from an EMT course administered by a consortium member Banshee Organization. GAI is an all-Haitian group of emergency responders who will play a decisive role in the future of Haitian EMS. EMPACT will be assisting GAI by clinical placement, temporary staffing arrangements and by including their EMTs in our EMT Master Instructor program. EMPACT will also be working with GAI and AIMER Haiti to develop a community empowerment course designed to train basic first aid to communities.
EMPACT program managers determined that the best utilization of PAPMO funding would be to leverage "people power". Starting a nation's emergency services program with ten thousand dollars and volunteer labor may seem like an impossibility. However, EMPACT has founded itself in the belief of people power. Our strategy is to multiply our staffing and financial capacity by leadership organization, strategic advisory work and belief in the people on the ground. For example, sending thirty instructors from the Seattle area to teach a single EMT class can have costs nearing sixty thousand dollars including airfare, lodging etc. But EMPACT can certainly send ten instructors...Banshee can send ten more. AIMER Haiti will provide class space, Medishare and Adventist will provide clinical rotations, etc. We will need more funds to continue this project for sure, but not before we stretch ten thousand dollars into one-hundred thousand dollars worth of accomplishments!
Next month, our education team members will travel to NYC to meet with multiple partner organizations. Dr Henry Paul of NOAH NY will be hosting our fall EMT class in Cap Haitian. We will work out details and also stop by the Banshee group to recruit EMT instructors from FDNY EMS. A special thanks to the many volunteers who continue to head up working committees. It takes many volunteer hours to have this level of success. Also, a huge thank you to our donors. Your donations allow our volunteers to work. You donations allow our volunteers to get to the places in need of our services. The donors to this program are literally financing the first emergency service program in this nations history. This is history in the making and YOU have made it possible.
For the people of Haiti.
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