Comox Paramedic Offering Helping Hand in Puerto Vallarta

Erin Haluschak - Comox Valley Record
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November 25, 2016


Comox paramedic Ryan Thorburn, along with two friends, are taking an ambulance full of firefighting equipment down to Puerto Vallarta for those in need. — Image Credit: Erin Haluschak

Ryan Thorburn made a lasting impression on a group of firefighters a year ago, so much so that the Comox paramedic is giving them an ambulance.

Thorburn, who was a member of the Canadian Medical Assistance Teams who volunteered in Haiti following their catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake, is returning to Mexico following his inaugural trip last year when he donated an ambulance full of medical equipment to the village of El Tuito.

The village is about an hour south of Puerto Vallarta, which is where he and his friend Chris Hounsell stopped prior to continuing their voyage.

“(Their fire department) showed us around, we had a few refreshments and we got the idea that they wanted this ambulance,” noted Thorburn.

The Puerto Vallarta firefighters told the pair they didn’t have a running ambulance for more than a year.

“This means that all the locals, elderly and people without a care program are not getting rides to the hospital. The ambulances you see in Puerto Vallarta are private ambulances that work for the tourist plans, Canadians, (Americans and) Europeans.”

Thorburn added those needing medical transport generally go to the hospital in the backs of cars or motorcycles.

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Read related: Canadian Paramedic Brings Ambulance Filled With Medical Equipment to El Tuito

  Learn about Firefighters Crossing Borders Bahia-Vallarta

  Learn about Bomberos de Puerto Vallarta (Fire Department)

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