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January 19, 2004
Toronto paramedics thank City of Toronto and Toronto EMS for support of Global Medic humanitarian mission to Sri Lanka
  
Toronto paramedics got together today to say thank you to the City of Toronto
and Toronto EMS for supporting their recent mission to Sri Lanka. The medics
travelled as part of a Global Medic team, which conducted a successful
emergency medical relief program in northern Sri Lanka.

"Toronto's paramedics give so much of themselves daily, saving lives and
treating people in their time of greatest need. It is a credit to their
compassion that they volunteered their time to go to Sri Lanka to train and
equip doctors and paramedics there," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "I am
proud that the City donated surplus medical equipment to this much-needed
emergency relief effort and helped promote their fundraisers. All the other
businesses, hospitals and individuals who donated medical equipment, money or
books, deserve our thanks for their contribution to the mission."

The program significantly increased the availability of emergency medical care
to Sri Lankans whose medical infrastructure has been eroded during years of
civil strife. The capacity building project, which was co-ordinated by Toronto
EMS paramedic Rahul Singh on behalf of Global Medic and supported by United
Nations agencies, involved shipping and delivering over a quarter million
dollars worth of materials, including 843 boxes of medical equipment, 42
hospital beds, 12 defibrillators, 102 computer systems, one ambulance and
10,400 text books to northern Sri Lanka. While in Sri Lanka, the team also
trained 20 paramedics and 10 doctors, equipped 30 ambulances and four
hospitals, and built a school.

"Our paramedics deserve our support for their charitable and humanitarian
work," said Bruce Farr, Chief / General Manager of Toronto EMS. "The paramedics
and nurses who went to Sri Lanka as part of the Global Medic team have made a
huge difference. It has also been a rewarding experience getting to meet the
Tamil students and other members of Toronto's Sri Lankan community during the
preparation of the mission. I am extremely proud of all of them for work
they've done."

Global Medic is an arm of the David McAntony Gibson Foundation (DMGF), which
has been working with a members of Toronto's Tamil and Sri Lankan community to
raise funds and collect donations. The mission began when members of The
Student Volunteer Project (www.tsvp.ca), a group of students of Tamil origin
working on a variety of projects designed to help rehabilitate Sri Lanka's
devastated educational infrastructure, saw media coverage of last February's
Global Medic mission to Cambodia and wondered whether the paramedics would help
out in northern Sri Lanka too.

The Sri Lanka Mission operated in conjunction with the United Nations
Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Mine Action Office (UNMAO).
The UN paid for internal shipping, transportation, and accommodation for Global
Medic staffers while in Sri Lanka. The mission provided donated medical
supplies and training for medics working with landmine clearance teams. Other
projects included building a schoolhouse, improving water sanitation by digging
a well and installing water purification equipment, and boosting the local
economy by providing donated computers and office equipment to small businesses
through the UNDP's microfinance project.

Six Toronto EMS paramedics or staffers went to Sri Lanka, along with two nurses
from Toronto Western Hospital's Emergency Department.

The David McAntony Gibson Foundation welcomes donations of new, surplus or used
emergency medical equipment, including boots and uniforms, for use in its
programs. For more information see www.dmgf.org or contact Rahul Singh at rsingh@dmgf.org.

Media contacts:
Larry Roberts
Toronto EMS
416-392-2255

Rahul Singh
Global Medic/David McAntony Gibson Foundation
416-998-7813



 

 

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