Friday, August 20, 2010
It took six weeks to get the ambulance out of customs, but a Charlotte ambulance was finally delivered to a Haitian hospital this week.
Members of Charlotte’s Haitian Heritage & Friends of Haiti delivered the ambulance to staffers at Justinien University Hospital in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. The ambulance with over 200,000 miles was formerly used by Mecklenburg county's emergency medical service department.
The Charlotte rescue team purchased the vehicle for $3,000 this spring as part of a county auction. It was transported by ship to Haiti in June, but got stuck in customs because of incomplete paperwork.
“What a bliss,” Dr. Jean Gracia, medical director of Justinien University Hospital, wrote in a thank you letter to the team and city of Charlotte. “...My staff and the patients are very grateful and lucky to have organizations like yours thinking about their well-being when they are most vulnerable. The quality of care has improved tremendously due to the newly received donations.”
Fort Mill paramedic Thomas Hall, a member of the Haitian Heritage & Friends of Haiti, will travel back to Haiti in the coming weeks to help train Justinien staff on how to use and operate the ambulance.
For more information about the Haitian Heritage & Friends of Haiti, or to help, visit hhfoh.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.