Needs Assessment Outcomes

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Our needs assessment is coming to a close. After two short weeks in Cochabamba, we leave for La Paz tomorrow morning.

The weather took a turn for the worst. It’s rained every day since our course last week, and Mano a Mano’s planes were grounded. We did not get to visit the rural villages in the Beni, which would have been very helpful for designing the first responder curriculum and assisting with the development of a more effective communication and dispatch system. Nevertheless, we feel extremely accomplished with our work in Cochabamba. The pieces are falling neatly into place for our courses this June. Not only has SAR dedicated it’s full support, but the country’s best and Cochabamba’s largest university, Universidad San Simon, has as well.

This morning we had our second meeting with the medical director of the medical school of Universidad Mayor San Simon and proposed curricula for our upcoming courses. The meeting went well, and the university has agreed to informally partner with us for the June courses, providing space and logistical support, with the intention that in February 2013 we will launch a full-length EMT class based on this BLS course. Elements of June’s BLS course may also be used to establish a basic life support program at the University–giving police, firefighters, and laypersons a standardized and accessible resource for EMS training.

Our instructors in June will include a diverse team of doctors, paramedics and EMTs from the United States, Bolivia, Venezuela and Chile, with each group contributing a special skill or knowledge base to the collaboration. Widespread interest from SAR, the Bolivian Air Force, the medical faculty of San Simon, medical student organizations, and Mano a Mano’s current volunteer and employee base suggests there will be more potential participants than would benefit the course and Mano a Mano’s aviation service. To make sure we train the most capable and committed personnel, we and our partners prepared a selection process that will include a written application and personal interview.

Finally, we have settled on dates:
Community first responder courses (2): June 4-6 and 7-9
BLS course (modified for flight transport): June 11 – 23