Since the immediate days of rescue and recovery following the catastrophic January 12th, 2010 earthquake many have struggled with understanding the best road forward to rebuild the nation and provide for its people. In the years since that terrible event men and women across Haiti, in the Diaspora as well as foreign allies have been moved by the suffering and the strength of the Haitian people and have increasingly looked for new ways to make a real change in conditions of the nation.
Far too long organizations have acted in Haiti with disregard for the will of the Haitian people, with disrespect of their government, and have often failed to put real tools in the hands of the Haitian people to control their own destiny. Far often charity, pity and aid have come before self-determination, human rights, and justice.
One of the major reasons the earthquake of 2010 was so devastating was the lack of trained emergency medical technicians or qualified first responders trained to deal with emergency medical situations.
Today in Croix des Bouquets there is still not a viable network of trained first responders or emergency medical technicians. If anyone were to need emergency medical assistance they would need to have a family member take them directly to the hospital in Port au Prince on the private transportation system. Because of this disparity in trained emergency medical technicians many individuals in accidents or in need of emergency medical care have no one to call and end up not receiving the care that could save their life.
To combat that disparity HAC-Haiti’s professional school started a beginning and advanced First Responder Training course which will serve to certify the first medically trained EMTs and first responders in our area. We have formed a partnership with the EMT force Gwoup Ayisyen Pou Ijans (GAI) whose teachers have EMT certification from both the Haitian National Police and St. John Ambulance.
Our collective goals are to build in Haiti an Emergency Medical Service both in urban and rural areas of the country.
Our objective is for it to be Haitian controlled and Haitian operated.
Our vision is that it will be organized by Haitian nationals; funded by the diaspora; approved and regulated by the MSPP, and employ thousands in a sophisticated web of modern emergency medical infrastructure.
HAC-Haiti began the first courses in the Spring of 2012 and graduated our first class of responders this summer. In our graduating class included local teachers seeking training in how to respond to medical emergencies in the classroom, community leaders, local members of our women’s empowerment group, and students seeking to make a career in the medical field. Advanced courses start January 2013.