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Model charity saves lives

Vanuatu medics lead the region

Ory Covo’s story is only one of dozens of people whose lives have been literally saved by the professionalism and dedication of the ProMedical paramedics and support staff. Out on his bike on a road outside Port Vila on November 29, 2013, Ory was badly injured when his bike collided headon with a four wheel drive vehicle. “I don’t remember the accident at all and in fact I have no memory of the week before it either,” said Ory. Revived and attended to by ProMedical paramedics, Ory knows that there is not a finer success story in Vanuatu than ProMedical and not a more important service in the areas it is available.

Chairman of the ProMedical board Douglas Patterson said the growth of ProMedical has been nothing short of outstanding. “Today ProMedical is a model for any charity in this country, and possibly in the south west Pacific region, built as it has been over the last decade,” he said. “It has built on the foundation of voluntary commitment from board members, vocational dedication from numerous overseas paramedics and our local staff, ongoing financial assistance from local businesses and residents and widespread support from hundreds of ordinary people who have subscribed as members.’’

He said ProMedical has never received any financial assistance from the Vanuatu Government, but had over the years built good relationships with several Government departments and officials.

The Vanuatu Emergency Medical Services Association (VEMSA) grew out of what was formerly known simply as ProMedical. Until 2004 ProMedical was a single vehicle, sole responder, private ambulance service owned and managed by an Australian paramedic named Darren Penny and his partner Vanessa Quigley.

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