Gift From Japan: New Ambulance Will Boost Emergency Services

Image: An Inside view of the New ambulance
Image: An Inside view of the New ambulance
An Inside view of the New ambulance.

THE St. Lucia Red Cross Society has a new fully-equipped ambulance thanks to the Japanese Government.

The gift was presented at the organisation’s headquarters by Japanese Ambassador Mitsuhiko Okada to Red Cross President, Kenneth Monplaisir.

The project to attain the new vehicle was funded through the Japan Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Projects. The sum of US$60,213 was donated to the Red Cross in February this year and was used to purchase the ambulance and the basic equipment. The donated money was also used to transport the vehicle to St. Lucia.

The organisation has had its share of bad luck where ambulances are concerned, their last one being burnt by arsonists in December 2013. However, the new vehicle which will be auxiliary to the ambulance service in St. Lucia, will be closely guarded this time around as the need for such a vehicle is not only essential for the organisation, but will also come in handy to assist the local fire service which currently operates with less than 10 ambulances around the entire island.

Welcoming the Japanese assistance, Monplaisir said: “This sort of thing does not happen every day. We approached the Japanese Red Cross Society and they helped us out and sent us the ambulance.”

Monplaisir said he was beyond grateful for the kind gesture and support , adding that the vehicle will serve as a much needed extension to the organisation’s humanitarian services.

Ambassador Okada said the need for an efficient and operational ambulance service which executes timely and prompt responses was evident.

He said; “I have no doubt that this ambulance would be of great service to the people of St. Lucia as it brings medical relief to all. With the new addition of an ambulance to the St. Lucia Red Cross Society, I trust that your first responder services will improve as you continue to make invaluable contributions to the saving of lives. It is also our added expectation that this new ambulance vehicle will be of great assistance to the efforts of the St. Lucia Red Cross Society in facilitating citizens’ access to appropriate medical service in a timely manner, thereby improving one’s quality of life.”

Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of health was Dr. Glenford Joseph who said that the Red Cross should be applauded for their continuous and arduous efforts in achieving a common goal for saving lives and limiting the negative outcome of health emergencies and disasters in St. Lucia.

He said; “Through its voluntary and humanitarian services, the St. Lucia Red Cross Society continues to reduce vulnerability at the individual, family and community levels, and in so doing contributes to the strengthening of the nation’s resilience in health emergencies through risk reduction.”

Dr. Joseph said that the new ambulance was presented at a time where it was needed most as he reminded the audience that the hurricane season was still on and that there were possibilities for numerous disasters in the region due to climate change including droughts, torrential rainfall, flash flooding and rising sea levels.

He said: “These changes ultimately have a negative impact on all dimensions of disaster including the vulnerable and their assets, livelihood, health service infrastructure and function, environment and the socio-economic structure of the country. So, we should strengthen our preparedness at all levels, from the individual to the national level, to reduce the impact of an event.”

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team...Read full bio...


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