The Arizona Republic
Fire officials in Puerto Peñasco, Son., have taken a major step toward offering rapid, basic emergency medical services to its residents and to U.S. tourists.
Martin Navarrete, a Surprise firefighter and paramedic, met with Puerto Peñasco fire Chief Ramon Esteban Manuel Lara and other fire officials last weekend to draw up a plan in which Surprise fire personnel will help train their Mexican counterparts in emergency medical services.
The Puerto Peñasco Fire Department responds only to fires, bee removals and vehicle accidents; the Red Cross and private clinics handle emergency medical service calls.
With the new training soon in place, the Fire Department will be able to handle the basics: taking blood pressure, performing glucose checks and offering first aid. The instruction will be paired with the opening of a free clinic that will be set up in late June with the help of the Surprise fire staff.
Navarrete pitched the plan to the project’s committee in Surprise, and the next step is to see who will be available to help. “The meeting went as planned and got a lot accomplished,” said Navarrete. He volunteers to train Puerto Peñasco’s firefighters on his own time six to eight times a year. Surprise Assistant Chief Clint Mills, who regularly accompanies Navarrete on the excursions, said Navarrete’s work is also about increasing public awareness. During his last meeting, Puerto Peñasco residents were invited to the firehouse to have their basic vital signs and glucose checked for free. “He’s attempting to engage the public and have them more involved with what the Fire Department may have to offer them,” Mills said.
The target of the awareness campaign is not only the town’s residents, but also American tourists who vacation in the beach area, he said. Mills and Lara have discussed a plan for the best way to treat and transport American patients back to the U.S. “We want to make sure it’s not a guessing game, that there’s a process in place,” Mills said.
Puerto Peñasco, also known as Rocky Point, is a resort town popular with Tucsonans, Phoenix residents and others.
It is about 210 miles southwest of Tucson along the Sea of Cortez.