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April 26, 2005
Providing tsunami relief by training landmine clearance paramedics - Toronto medics head back to Sri Lanka today
  
Toronto EMS paramedics leave for Sri Lanka today to provide training for the
medics who support Sri Lankan landmine clearance teams.

The David McAntony Gibson Foundation (DMGF) has entered into an agreement with
Mines Advisory Group (MAG) to help train paramedics in Baticoloa and
Killinochee, Sri Lanka, over the next three weeks.

"I am immensely proud of this group of paramedics, who continue to demonstrate
the generosity that Torontonians consistently show to people in need around the
world," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "They are making a huge difference to
the lives of victims of the tsunami disaster."

After 20 years of civil war, Sri Lanka has a major landmine problem. The
countryside remains covered in landmines, but now the situation has worsened
because many minefields were affected by the tsunami of December 26, 2004. The
tsunami flooded the land and moved mines around, making previously cleared
areas newly hazardous for civilians seeking clean water. MAG has deployed
additional teams to clear tsunami-disturbed minefields, but the demining crews
are in urgent need of emergency medical care as they carry out this dangerous
mission.

DMGF, a grass roots Canadian charity, will deploy a pair of Toronto EMS
Paramedics to the Baticoloa District of Sri Lanka. For two weeks, the
paramedics will train landmine clearance personnel in pre-hospital emergency
care, with a focus on trauma management.

"The Toronto EMS medics who have gone abroad to help train landmine clearance
support teams are a credit to the paramedic profession," said Toronto EMS Chief
and General Manager, Bruce Farr. "Our paramedics are known for their compassion
and skill, the tsunami relief efforts show their willingness to share their
expertise with others in need."

Paramedic Rob Selfridge, a veteran paramedic who was part of the teams that
went to Sri Lanka in November 2003 and Siem Riep, Cambodia this January, is
joining Rahul Singh, who is program director for DMGF and has extensive
experience running capacity-building missions in the third world.

DMGF will be responsible for the trauma management course and distribution of
surplus medical supplies and equipment that Toronto EMS and other organizations
have donated to the mission. MAG will provide accommodations and make travel
arrangements in Sri Lanka for the medics.

For more information on Global Medic - David McAntony Gibson Foundation, see
www.dmgf.org. For more information on Mine Action Group, see www.magclearsmines.org.


Media contacts:

Rahul Singh
David McAntony Gibson Foundation
647-885-7311

Larry Roberts
Toronto EMS Media Relations
416-392-2255



 

 

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