HAMILTON, Canada — Hamilton Paramedic Service and City of Hamilton Mayor, Fred Eisenberger on Friday welcomed the Consul General Fitzgerald Huggins and representatives from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to officially handover a retired ambulance to help support emergency response and health care delivery for their country.
The ambulance will help the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital serve a population of approximately 110,000 citizens, build capacity for first responders, resulting in reduced mortality rates for this community.
Eisenberger said: “I am proud of the leadership of our Paramedic Service. Through this incredible donation, we have the wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the supportive nature of our city by providing humanitarian aid beyond our borders to those who need it most.”
Prime Minister of SVG Ralph Gonsalves called into the ceremony from Kingstown to thank the mayor for the donation, which, he said, will help to enhance emergency services and health care delivery in his country.
This donation is made possible in partnership with the Caribbean North Charities Foundation, a Canadian charity that partners directly with hospitals to provide care benefits to those who are less fortunate in the Caribbean and GlobalMedic, a charity whose mandate is to save lives by providing short-term, rapid response in the wake of disasters and crisis, both at home and abroad.
Other supporting agencies making this possible were Ferno and Rowland Emergency Services who provided the equipment, retrofitted and serviced the ambulance to make ready for duty.
Hamilton Paramedic Service will work with representatives from the charities and SVG to deliver the ambulance via cargo ship to the Caribbean.
“This ambulance has helped us serve the City of Hamilton well, and on behalf of the members of Hamilton Paramedic Service, I am proud that it will now help improve health outcomes for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I am grateful for the partnerships that helped make this possible,” said Russell Crocker, deputy chief, Hamilton Paramedic Service.
Huggins welcomed the decision, saying, “This is the first of two ambulances which will make a tremendous difference to our delivery of health care and emergency services. The government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines are eternally grateful to the people of Hamilton. Networking played a very important part of this project. The various agencies involved Global Medics, Caribbean North Charities, Ferno and Rowland Emergency Services has vowed to continue this relationship so we can expect more benefits coming to SVG.”
In Hamilton, αn ambulance becomes surplus or is retired when it has served its full life cycle of front-line service within Hamilton Paramedic Service.
A press release said that although this ambulance is no longer suitable for service in a major centre such as Hamilton, it is anticipated that in a smaller community like St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it will be able to provide many years of service.
Hamilton paramedics replace their vehicles every six years. Raul Singh of Global Medic says that the ambulance has “a couple hundred thousand kilometres on it”.