First Day In the Office

Monday, June 6, 2011

When we first talked to Andres in December, GrupoVenemergencia had 60 employees. Today it has over 80. Its operations are continually expanding as it takes on more paramedics and enters into collaborations like A Tu Lado. In our time in the office today from 8-6, we met the rest of the crew and got to see where it all goes down. In the past week, Venemergencia has begun its 24-hour ambulance service, and the place is constantly buzzing. We helped revise curriculums that FundacionVenemergencia (a nonprofit and A Tu Lado’s partner this summer) teaches to private companies, the revenue from which funds brigades and voluntary response services in the rougher parts of town.

In the afternoon we met with Andres and Amelia, the only full-time person working on Fundacion Venemergencia, to discuss their vision for how an emergency brigade in the slums could operate. It was a moving discussion, one that clearly motivates Andres and his company’s work. As he says, everyone has a heart, but not everyone has money. We all deserve medical attention. Something has to be done. Today, A Tu Lado’s mission began in earnest. Tomorrow, we’re shadowing surgeons in a private hospital (Hospital Ortopedico Infantil), then running the first day of our EMT course in the evening. We’ll let you know how it goes.