PUBLIC OUTREACH IN MANZANILLO
By Joshua Stein and Lauren Onofrey
Research Interns – IFAP Global Health Program
Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
An emergency response system doesn’t function unless people call when there are emergencies, so we’ve been working hard to spread the word that the Paramédicos de Emergencia de Manzanillo (PEM) are a team of dedicated, trained first-responders available 24/7 to respond to calls without asking about insurance, immigration status, or ability to pay.
After hearing about PEM’s work, the local TV station here in Manzanillo invited us for a thirty-minute interview during their health and news segment. The first few times we attempted the interview we were prevented by power outages, malfunctioning equipment, and more power outages. But when it all finally came together, our shift supervisors and manager had a great time discussing the work they do, and explaining how our dispatch system helps notify responders to emergencies in real-time. Check out the highlights from the interview here!
PROVIDING SERVICE AND OUTREACH
Twice a year, the town of Manzanillo hosts a multi-week basketball tournament, which draws hundreds of fans loyal to their neighborhood team. The Paramédicos de Emergencias de Manzanillo team has sent first-responders to be present at all the games, standing by to treat injured athletes and increasing our visibility all the more. Fortunately for us, many of the injuries that occur during the game mysteriously heal themselves when the referee is no longer looking. If only providing emergency treatment was always this effective! The tournament has been a great opportunity for us to serve the community and catch some great basketball games.
EXPANDING THE RESPONSE NETWORK
Individuals in Manzanillo and the surrounding communities are eager to learn first-response skills, and to start helping their family, friends, and neighbors. After several visits to local schools to educate the students about medical emergencies, we turned our attention to the neighboring town of Carbonera, where we interviewed and selected a new group of first-responders who will be trained over the coming weeks. The hardest part was telling an enthusiastic thirteen-year-old that he wasn’t old enough to be a first responder – yet!