In February of last year, I called the Red Cross Ambulance to transport my husband to the hospital. He was a bit out of sorts – and also 6’8″ tall. They came quickly but only had a hard board to put him on to get him down two flights of stairs. The board was short, so two plastic chairs were doubled up. Along with the two men from the ambulance, my friends Scott Brown and Art Moreau helped carry my husband down the stairs. It was a horrible experience for all of us, and David’s arms were injured by this difficult course of action. But it just couldn’t be avoided.
An EMT friend in the states gave me a catalog to research a better stretcher for the Red Cross Ambulance to have on their vehicles for situations like this. I found a soft canvas stretcher that the attendants could use to easily navigate tight places and corners. Being waterproof as well, it can be used to take someone off the beach or out of the ocean. The stretcher folds into a small square and has handles on the sides, top, and bottom. It could also be a comforting cocoon for a child.
I purchased two in David’s memory. One was given to the Tulum Red Cross ambulance and the other to the Red Cross ambulance in Akumal. I did not want another person to have to experience what David did. My contribution is small, but every bit helps. I urge all of you to help support the Red Cross for their tireless, but much need work. You’ll never know when you might need their help. …… Shirley Pogodinski
Following is a letter from Claudia Muñoz of the Cruz Roja Tulum:
January 23rd, 2017
Dear Akumal Community,
On behalf of the Red Cross in Tulum and as a member of the board, I would like to thank all of those who have made possible having an ambulance in Akumal for the past two years. The ambulance was requested to the Red Cross by Marieke Brown and by the Comedy Festival because they saw the need for it and have worked very hard to keep it going. One of the 2 ambulances was sent to Akumal in 2015 and it has been very successful in saving many lives and attending many emergencies.
It is necessary for Akumal to have an ambulance in town because of its growing community and diverse activities. As you know the coverage for the ambulance is Akumal town, Centro, North and South, Oasis, Aventuras Akumal, Punta Sur, Sirenis, San Martin, Secrets, Akumal Bay, Bahia Principe Hotel and Residential area, Aktun Chen, Chemuyil and Chan Chemuyil, and anything along the highway. It is the duty of Red Cross to attend any call or accident and transfer the people involved to the nearest medial facility free of charge. The ambulance is in this area 24/7 except Mondays between 12:00 hrs. and 16:00 hrs. During this time is when the paramedics change shifts. Usually it is parked along the side of the arches at the entrance of Akumal. The ambulance is fully equipped and the paramedics have all of their required training.
I am sorry to say that at this time the Red Cross in Tulum is having difficulties in keeping the ambulance at the service of Akumal because of the cost to maintain it. As you may know the Red Cross is not part of the Mexican government even though they do contribute with a voluntary sum every year. The only way that the Red Cross has funds is through the yearly collect, local fundraisers and your donations.
Having an ambulance in Akumal costs the Red Cross in Tulum approximately $65000.00 pesos a month, including everything even though food and lodging is provided for the paramedics by Hotel Secrets.
Please let’s get together as a community and keep the ambulance in Akumal we never know when we will need it. You may donate on this page, by pay pal, making direct deposits, or I will be available every other Tuesday morning at Turtle Bay Café, (where the best fundraisers have been held for this cause) to collect your donation with a tax deductible receipt in hand and to answer any questions about the operation of the red Cross in Tulum.
Claudia Alejandra Muñoz
Board member of Cruz Roja Delegación Tulum
Just push the Donate button at the bottom of the page — couldn’t be easier!