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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

AFP, JSOTF-P turn over ambulances, conduct MEDCAPs on Jolo

JOLO, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Joint Task Force Comet and the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines recently turned over three new ambulances to emergency first responders in Sulu Province. The ambulances will greatly improve the ability of Sulu medical professionals to deliver emergency care to the island’s residents.

AFP and JSOTF-P officials turned over the first ambulance to the Parang District Hospital on July 6. The second was delivered to the Panamao District Hospital on August 8, and the third to the Jolo Emergency Rescue Network in Jolo City on August 10. The ambulances are worth about Php 960,000 each.

Following the turnovers in Parang and Panamao, AFP, U.S. and local medical personnel provided free medical treatment to several hundred local residents.

According to Maj. Benjamin Abduhadi, Chief of the Marines’ Civil Relations Service in Sulu, the ambulances represent a significant step forward in medical care for local residents.

“This ambulance is vital for the people of Sulu,” said Abduhadi at the Panamao turnover ceremony. “It will allow all Joloanos equal access to emergency response.”

The recipients of the ambulances expressed their gratitude for the new vehicles.

“We are very happy and thankful for the ambulance and MEDCAP today, and we hope that there will be more MEDCAPs to come and more help to the hospital,” said the Honorable Gafor S. Abdurajak, mayor of Panamao.

In Parang, the ambulance donation was a milestone for the District Hospital there, because until now, the hospital has never had that capability. Dr. Hadja Jubaira Aharuddin Isnain, chief of the hospital, thanked the AFP and JSOTF-P for the ambulance, which will enable the hospital to provide better emergency medical services to the population of Parang.

For one Sulu resident who attended the Jolo Emergency Rescue Network turnover ceremony, the event had special significance. Bong Calleja is an emergency response worker with the Jolo Bureau of Fire Protection. In August 2006, Calleja was shot in the eye by terrorists just 15 meters from the Jolo Fire Station. At the time Jolo did not have a reliable ambulance service, so he was rushed to the Sulu Provincial Hospital in a police car.

While Calleja recovered from his wounds, he said that if there had been a reliable ambulance available at the time, emergency responders would have been able to provide immediate medical response and evaluation.

“This ambulance is a great help to Joloanos and the people of Sulu,” Calleja said.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you JOST-P and the American People for the relentless support given to the Jolo Emergency Rescue Network,Inc.

    We remain steadfast and firm to our Motto "To Serve , So that others may live"...
    More power...