FIRST RESPONDER LIBERIA
CHICO, CA TO MONROVIA, LIBERIA
You never know where life takes you. Sometimes, the road leads to Liberia. While at Church one Fall Sunday in 2013, Bob Hall, Assistant Chief with First Responder/Butte EMS was talking with the Hon. Saah Joseph, a Liberian Congressional Representative, who was visiting the United States, gathering support for some of his projects back in Liberia. One project, was to acquire a fleet of ambulances that could transport people to the hospital. Sounds rudimentary, right? The Story he told that inspired him to get ambulances was one day in Liberia he witnessed a person who could not get to the hospital due to an unknown illness. The Patient was loaded into a wheelbarrow and subsequently died before getting to the hospital. The Healthcare officials suspected that the person had a heart attack.
When Saah Joseph finished his story, Hall stated that the company he works for has several ambulances that were being retired and would be a good fit in Liberia. The process to move ambulances to Liberia began on that day. The first two ambulances left California in December 2013, arriving in Monrovia, Liberia in February, 2014.
Prior to the arrival of the ambulance, Hall, along with other member of his church paid a visit to Liberia at the end of January 2014. This trip was designed to get a better understanding of the impact the ambulances would have. The entire country of Liberia, population five million, had fewer than a handful of ambulances. On a "normal" day these two ambulances would be of benefit. Little did we know, that one of the biggest healthcare crisis was already brewing, Ebola.
According to Saah Joseph, First Responder ambulances donated to Liberia, transported thousands of sick patients with Ebola. The arrival of these vehicles could not have come at a better time. All in all, 12 ambulances were delivered to Liberia from 2013 to 2017.