Monday, November 30, 2009

Welcome to my blog about Samui Rescue

Welcome to this blog site... which is dedicated to all the amazing people who work for Samui Rescue.
This blog is my blog, and does not necessarily represent the views of any other person in Samui Rescue.
Samui Rescue provides FREE emergency paramedic, rescue, and ambulance services to the people of Koh Samui – both Thai and foreigners – whatever their situation, and has been providing these emergency services on Koh Samui for over 19 years.

The Samui Rescue Foundation has close to 300 volunteers, with almost 50% of these volunteers qualified as E.M.S. Practitioners and ‘First Responders’. They are based in strategic locations around the island in order to provide full island cover, 24 hours a day – 7 days a week… and this is ALL FREE… and for everyone!

The Samui Rescue volunteers are trained by both the Samui Hospital in Nathon and Bangkok Hospital, Samui, and Samui Rescue staff are the first on the scene of any accident/incident in over 95% of their responses on the island... with an average response time of only 4 minutes!

Samui Rescue work hand-in-hand with the island’s other emergency services (police, fire and hospitals) and constantly monitor these services with professional Amateur Radio equipment – bought by the volunteers themselves (over 85% of the Samui Rescue staff have portable walkie-talkies/radios, and are qualified radio operators).

Samui Rescue Teams are sited in ‘stand-by’ sites at Nathon (Samui Rescue’s headquarters), Saket, Lipanoi, Lamai, ByLaem, BoPhut, Napalarn, and Maenam. These sites are manned (and ‘womanned’!) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by volunteers totally committed to helping others. They have to be totally committed, as the organization (although it does get some donations) is essentially self-funded. This means that all volunteers have bought all of their equipment themselves… from their medical bags (and the bandages, equipment etc inside them), to their uniforms and mobile radios! Many Rescue staff use their own vehicles to rush to emergencies, and have therefore bought even the ‘blues and twos’ and sirens on their cars (and, of course, also pay for the petrol/diesel that goes in those cars!).

Samui Rescue staff are also trained by the island’s Fire Brigade to assist and support them during fires/emergencies, as well as (alongside the Police, hospital staff, and Fire Brigade personnel) being trained as members of the island’s ‘Major Disaster Team’.

Samui Rescue staff show the best side of Thai people, selflessly giving their time and expertise to help people in the most traumatic and worst possible imaginable scenarios… from recovering bodies of drowned/natural death/murder victims… extricating critically injured people from car wrecks… attending to (and transporting to hospital) accident and/or emergency victims (everything from R.T.A.’s to heart attacks)… as well as…..

* Organizing and collecting food for Samui’s poorer families…
* Educating and entertaining youngsters during Samui’s ‘Kids Day’…
* Removing snakes (and other dangerous animals) from peoples homes…

… and almost anything else that you can think of which comes under the umbrella term labeled ‘helping others’!

Somehow, they manage to balance this with their ordinary lives as family men/women, taxi-drivers, shop owners, catering staff etc. Samui Rescue volunteers come from all walks of life, and I am proud to work alongside them.
This blog is dedicated to all of the Samui Rescue volunteers, and will give an insight into their work via regular blogs that may be illustrated with pictures. Although I have no intention of showing graphic images (so all you blood lusting voyeurs can look elsewhere!) some may find some of the pictures upsetting.