The City of Allentown and Cetronia Ambulance Corps will donate two retired ambulances to the City of Carrefour, Haiti, to help with emergency medical treatment in that area that was ravaged by a 2010 earthquake.
The announcement was made by Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Cetronia Chief Executive Officer Larry Wiersch during a Thursday morning news conference at the city’s Mack South Fire Station.
Pawlowski and a team from Lifechurch in Allentown, led by Senior Pastor Randy Landis, traveled to Carrefour last year to help rebuild the city and assemble a donated playground. Lifechurch is working to facilitate the delivery of the equipment.
The ambulances will be transported to New York City for delivery. After they clear customs, they will be shipped to Haiti this spring. Lifechurch is paying the shipping costs.
The city donated vehicle is a 2002 Ford E-450. It is equipped with a hydraulic lift for the main oxygen cylinder and a power inverter. Lehigh Valley Health Network is donating a stretcher and Sacred Heart Hospital is contributing a stretcher and two oxygen tanks.
The city vehicle was taken out of service in October 2012 when it was replaced by a 2012 Chevrolet 4500 ambulance. It will be manned by the Hospital Batiste Convention d’Haiti serving Cap Haitien, the second largest city in Haiti. The hospital is supported locally by The Haiti Health Trust, a non-profit organization in Bethlehem, Pa.
Cetronia is donating a 1997 Ford E-450 ambulance to the City of Carrefour. It is equipped with a stretcher and spare first aid supplies. The vehicle was taken out of service in November 2012 and was part of Cetronia's ready reserve fleet. The Corps will be purchasing a new Ford E-450 in 2013 to replace this unit.
“Cetronia Ambulance Corps is proud to be able to support the medical relief work in Haiti and the efforts of the local churches and City of Allentown as part of our non-profit mission and commitment to community,” Wiersch said. “These are some of the neediest people in the world and if our donation saves one more life, it is worth every ounce of equipment we can send.”
Retired Allentown firefighter Jonathan Pratt, active Allentown firefighter James Alpha and Bethlehem firefighter David Flores, all members of Lifechurch, are heading to Haiti next month to train local personnel in the use of recently donated firefighting equipment. A donor from Lifechurch purchased a retired field fire truck with foam generating equipment from Emmaus and a second fire vehicle from the Midwest and donated it to Haiti. The equipment was recently released from customs in Haiti.
The Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority is donating reflective bunker pants and coats and boots. Earlier, the City of Allentown had donated bunker gear, gloves and water cans.
Last year, Pawlowski also helped arrange the donation of a garbage truck to the municipality of Carrefour from Waste Management, Inc. Waste Management paid to transport the vehicle to the Port of Miami for shipment to Haiti.
“We are fortunate to have great community partners like Cetronia, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Sacred Heart Hospital, the Airport Authority, G4S Integrated Fleet Services and Fast Signs that are willing to step-up to help some of the neediest people in the world,” said Pawlowski. “These donations will be greatly appreciated.”
“It is an excellent notion to donate equipment that we no longer have use for, but that others who are less fortunate than we are can benefit tremendously from and hopefully safe lives," said Allentown City Council President Julio Guridy. "In addition to the recent devastations by mother nature, for a long time Haiti has been the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and it is the right thing to do for us as the most powerful country in the world to support them as much as we can. I am delighted to see this kind of collective humane effort.”
Lifechurch had an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti that was badly damaged in a devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake.
Carrefour is a commune in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince with a population of more than 400,000. According to Pastor Landis, he had built a relationship with a representative of the Feed the Hungry organization, who introduced him to Carrefour Mayor Yvon Jerome. “Mayor Jerome was ecstatic to learn that there were many people in our area who were willing to work together to come to their aid,” Pastor Landis said.