The Fire Station Project
As a child, many of us thrilled to the sight of a shiny red fire truck racing along, sirens wailing, as it rushed on its next mission. Whether rescuing a family trapped in a burning building or extricating a kitten that had climbed too high in a tree our image was of the fireman as a hero. A savior.The world changed and our firefighters and other first responders saw their mission change too and their heroism reached new heights as did their sacrifices with events like 9/11.
In Nepal, the picture is sadly different. Although firefighting equipment and ambulances and capable men and women to operate them are critical to the disaster preparedness effort, there are shiny firetrucks racing to the rescue. Instead, the almost five million people who live in the Kathmandu Valley had been served for years by a handful of antiquated, often barely-functional fire trucks, that were fifty years old. And ambulances were merely vehicles without skilled emergency medical technicians to help save the lives of critically ill patients en-route to the hospital. The problem was compounded when the fire station in Kathmandu was severely damaged, along with the already battered fire trucks, during the earthquake.
Soarway, with your help, will change that picture. There plans are in motion to bring modern firefighting equipment to Kathmandu in the coming months. And we are working with the Kathmandu municipality, architects in Pittsburgh, and donors in the US and Nepal to raise the funds to build a modern, state of the art, seismically resistant fire station and trauma center in the heart of Kathmandu to house them.
We are also working in partnership with the fledgling Nepal Ambulance Service to assist with the creation of the corps of skilled EMTs who can be based out of the fire station and support the trauma center. And while this work goes on Soarway has pledged to support an expansion of the Nepal Ambulance Service cadre to Butwal, a major municipality in western Nepal in dire need of skilled emergency medicine support.