PORTLAND, ORE. - Sept. 4, 2008) Local emergency health experts will share their expertise with 11 Sri Lankan fire and rescue workers this month--implementing a one-of-a-kind educational exchange between Sri Lanka and Oregon.
(PORTLAND, ORE. - Sept. 4, 2008) Local emergency health experts will share their expertise with 11 Sri Lankan fire and rescue workers this month—implementing a one-of-a-kind educational exchange between Sri Lanka and Oregon.
The Sri Lankan delegates, who arrive Sept. 6, include staff from Medical Teams International’s Sri Lanka office, the country’s Trauma Secretariat leader, its National EMS Advisor and firefighters from Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital city.
Several Oregon and Washington first responders have already trained these fire and rescue workers to save lives in Sri Lanka when Medical Teams International’s in-country EMS program began in 2006. These same men, in turn, have taught hundreds of other Sri Lankan emergency personnel to respond appropriately to disasters, traumas and other injuries. Now, they’ll take the next step to ensure their Sri Lankan communities have the best emergency services possible.
Robert Blake, the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, recently recognized the groundbreaking work of Medical Teams International’s staff and volunteers in Sri Lanka, citing the lifesaving training that will serve the country for generations to come.
The Sri Lanka visit is part of an EMS Educational Exchange program sponsored by Medical Teams International. The program is the latest project in a nationwide initiative by Medical Teams International to bring emergency medical services to all Sri Lankans.
Focusing on hands-on training, the month-long instruction includes partnerships with:
- Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue
- Oregon Health & Science University
- Oregon Institute of Technology’s Paramedic Program
- Metro West Ambulance
- Woodburn Ambulance Service
- The Sri Lankans also will meet with leaders from the State of Oregon’s Health Services EMS and Trauma section, who sent several staff members to Sri Lanka in 2007.
The EMS Educational Exchange follows two years of EMS training in Sri Lanka by Medical Teams International. Volunteers with Medical Teams International, including firefighters/paramedics from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and emergency medicine physicians from Oregon Health & Science University, have trained hundreds of Sri Lankan firefighters, police and hospital workers in pre-hospital emergency care.
As part of its EMS curriculum, Medical Teams International published an international textbook for pre-hospital care in 2005. Produced internationally in eight languages, the 700-page textbook is the only comprehensive manual translated for both Sinhala- and Tamil-speaking Sri Lankans.
“This training will make a lifesaving difference for millions of Sri Lankans—nearly the entire nation,” explains Paul Bollinger, emergency medical services senior advisor at Medical Teams International. “Our delegates will take these new skills back to Sri Lanka where they will instruct hundreds of other trauma workers in the country. The impact of this exchange will bear fruit for years to come.”
Medical Teams International is a non-profit humanitarian relief and development agency that exists to demonstrate the love of Christ to people affected by disaster, conflict and poverty around the world. In its 29-year history, Medical Teams International has deployed more the 1,900 volunteer teams and shipped over $1.2 billion in antibiotics, surgical kits and lifesaving medicines to care for 35 million people in 100 countries.