Archive for the “History” Category

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CDS would like to take the time and ask all to remember the terrorist attack in Mejicanos two years ago today when a bus from route 47 was taken hostage by gang members and driven to an isolated street where the victims were locked inside, gasolined, and lit on fire. Comando veteran EMS responder Luis Colato recounts that it was, "the most sad scene we had witnessed since the general offensive in 89, the gang members were pointing guns at us not letting us do our work". While some were able to escape through windows, most later died at the hospital due to smoke inhalation and advanced burns.

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In September of 1999,  Luis Colato,  Efraím Solis, Roberto Cruz, and Mark Hoffman attended the 5th international conference on Disasters and risk management seminar at the Palace of Conventions in Havana Cuba. We were also invited to see the infamous ELAM, Latin American Medical School in Baracoa the year of its founding. In response to Hurricane Mitch, Fidel Castro formed the school giving full ride scholarships to Latin Americans, North Americans, Haitians, and Africans. The only requirement is that the students return to their country of origin and work with the poor. Since 1999, the ELAM has graduated more than seven Salvadoran classes on the Caribbean Island. For more information about the conference, please visit here, and the school here. CDS were grateful for the time spent meeting Cuban friends and getting to know the culture. We welcome any ELAM graduates  to colaborate with us.

Salvadoreñas Edith Anaya y Jeneatte Melgar del 2nd clase de ELAM con otras compatriotas con sus diplomas en 2006.
Salvadoreñas Edith Anaya y Jeneatte Melgar of the 2nd graduated ELAM class with other classmates with their degrees  at graduation 2006.
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Luis Colato pictured in the mid 2000′s assisting a female affected by teargas during confrontations between street vendors and riot police.

Regarding the illness that Luis Colato exhibited last week, we are hearing many versions and will release formal information regarding what happened soon, but for now this is what we understand. A week ago Luis started to present with vertigo, incoherent speech.  He was complaining of headaches yet attributed them to migraines he had on a regular basis. He then had a convulsion. It is suspected that Luis may have developed a clot from the head injuryand this caused a stroke. He was flown via Helicopter from Santa Ana to San Salvador and admitted to the Social Security Hospital on March 8th.  He was intubated due to labored breathing. Doctors operated and drained 60ml of blood from his cranium to relieve pressure. The wound was left open for 72 hours to drain cephalic fluid.  Members of Comandos de Salvamento, friends and family did a Vigil March on Tuesday March 13 which stopped in front of the ISSS Hospital at 6pm.  Luis has been in a coma for almost a week and will undergo another operation to relieve pressure from swelling on Thursday March 15th.  We asked for your prayers during this trying time for the institution. Luis has served the institution since the mid 1980s as EMT, EMS Educator, and Board Member. Luis is not only an integral part of our Medical Services, and Disaster Mitigation, but an important part of our family.

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Veteran Comando Luis Kolato is currently in a coma at the Social Security Hospital due to acute symptoms related to a possible Cerebral Vascular Accident. Please offer supportive prayers.

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16 January 1992  Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico

George evacuating civilians in Mejicanos during 1989 firefight.

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Edgar Jhony Ramos of CDS and other Salvadoran Rescue teams remember 1986.

EMS and SAR team members from CDS and the Salvadoran Green Cross Veteran Association commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the 1986 Earthquake by placing a floral wreath in the downtown building of Ruben Dario.  Many buildings downtown collapsed on victims trapping them and causing many deaths and injuries. Urban Rescue teams endured many nights without sleep recovering victims. Pictured are the mayor of San Salvador, well known professional Héctor Mendez of the infamous “Los Topos” Mexican international SAR team, William Urias of the Salvadoran Green Cross Veterans Association, Edgar Jhony Ramos of Comandos, and “El Piocha” from Salvadoran Green Cross. Foto: CDS/Carlos Fuentes

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More information about Salvador and other LODDs on our memorial page.
Crédito: Alecus

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Starting with a poem I wrote dedicated to the work of Comando Doctor Carlos Hernández Reyes, the artist Alecus evolutionized the idea in presenting Carlos’ new role in the afterlife,-to become a true Guardian Angel, after being one on earth as a dedicated CDS volunteer.

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Credit: Alecus

Translation: “Guardian Angels”
Doctor Carlos leaves the main base after working the night shift at the walk in clinic. It was 11:53am.
Carlos: Why me?
Angel: You have done many great things during your life. You worked hard to become a doctor. You loved your family. You saved many lives without recieving anything in return, you rescued many people in danger, (Angel takes Carlos to heaven), you have been called to continue saving lives.. You will be one of us.

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The funeral service of Carlos took place today at Concepcion church. Friends and close family members paid their respects and said farewell to this kind gentleman that started as a basic EMT with our agency in the 1980s. He served during the war, then put himself through Medical school. He selflessly served the Salvadoran public with a high level of professionalism and ethics. Abrazos Carlos. /salute.

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EMS COURSE ENDS ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WAR FIRST RESPONDER

Twenty Comandos de Salvamento members received diplomas and certificates of approval after having finished a Pre-Hospital Care training course  at the Central Base EMS school. The course teaches volunteers patient stabilization and first aid to those involved in traumatic emergencies.

June 24th is also celebrated in many countries as International Rescuer Day. It commemorates the battle of Solferino of June 24th 1859,  in which horrified witness Jean Henry Dunant saw all wounded soldiers being either shot or bayoneted on the battlefield.  This led to the creation of the mandated Geneva Conventions and the formation of the International Red Cross. The day salutes medical personnel who attend to the wounded in warzones.

Clearing the dead at Solferino. (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum Vienna)

Clearing the dead at Solferino. (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum Vienna)

Comandos de Salvamento has twelve years of offering aid to those on the battlefield during the Salvadoran Civil war and continues to attend to “gang zone” wounded throughout San Salvador.  The site deperlasyranas.com (spanish only) remembers this day with emphasis on the Battle of Solferino and Dunant’s inspired book “Memory of Solferino” which says: States must prepare not only for combat but also for the assistance of war victims. It also points out fundamental themes to create voluntary first aid groups which practice EMS care in times of peace and war.

Comandos de Salvamento is mandated by it’s charter to save the lives of people due to consequences of mother nature or of man, regardless of race, religion, or political creed.

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Comandos de Salvamento are seen here during the civil war general offensive of 1989 evacuating war wounded civilians.

The original amateur documentary on the United Nations Truth Commission can be seen here.

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THE DECADE OF ROAD SAFETY

With a simulation accident that culminated in the public presentation throughout “Launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020″ which aims to reduce traffic accidents and thousands of deaths and injuries they engender. The event was inaugurated by public works minister Gerson Martines. The road safety plan presents alarming statistics on accidents.  they are the leading cause of death for young people between 15 and 29 in El Salvador. Nearly 1.3 million people die each year on the roads throughout the world making Motor Vehicle Accidents the leading cause of deaths worldwide. In El Salvador accidents cause about three deaths per day and an average of 22 injuries. 75 percent of these deaths are related to driver inattention, excessive speed and imprudence by pedestrians.

The campaign ended with an extrication drill enacted by CDS paramedics, EMTs and extrication specialists from our “UDR” rescue unit. The UDR is also involved in Urban Search and Rescue. San Salvador is one of the most densely populated cities in Latin America and MVAs are an every day occurrence.

Fotos CDS/FCampos. Video: LPG

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MAYEN LIVES ON AT PLAZA BARRIOS.

Fifty year old popular painter Elena Lemus appears in front of two paintings of important people of El Salvaodor’s history. Schafik Jorge Hándal, leader of the current party currently governing the country and the deceased journalist spokesperson for Comandos de Salvamento commonly known as Mayen. The painter is a student of the city’s municipal art workshops.  She states that Mayen always walked in the afternoons around Plaza Gerardo Barrios in this historic area .  She maintains his memory so that he is always present in the park. Foto: Francisco Campos

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Foto of Elena in March during Obama’s visit.

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One month ago we lost our good friend Eduardo Mayen Rivera. Here he is giving some simple advice to children and adults that get their kites stuck in power lines and attempt to take them down.

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Crédito: EsmiTV TCS

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The following is a letter from the daughter of Mayen that lives in Miami. She contacted us via our Facebook page.

Eduardo Rivera Mayen or “papi” as I used to know him, was a man of honor. I will never forget his gentle voice and comforting words he always said. As a little girl he would always bring me my favorite flavor cake for my birthday. He would take me to los caballitos where one of my favorite pictures were taken. Despite our distance I know he loved me, I hope he know I loved him too. On our last conversation he told me to ” construye tu destino, no dejes que el destino haga tu vida.”

Life wasn’t easy living far from him. I usually saw him when I visited El Salvador every couple of years. Now I have a daughter named after my mother as well as me that will live for him. He was loved by many, it was clearly seen at the burial. There are no words to express my feelings of not being there. The fact that he died alone with no help, is heart breaking. I am eternally grateful for what Comandos has done for him. I try to understand that due to the conditions the burial couldn’t be held back any longer.

It’s hard to swallow the pain to know he will never know his granddaughter and she well never know her abuelito. I will make sure that she learns what a wonderful man he was, how he helped so many people in need and what he meant to El Salvador and Comandos. I try to see it as a “see you real soon” for how he is with my mother in heaven and they are waiting for me to finally be together. May you rest in peace dad, I’ll never let you die, that is my promise to you.

Love,

Muriel Elizabeth Rivera

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