Luke 10:4

Today I went to a talk about international disaster response. The speaker had been part of relief efforts almost immediately following the devastating earthquakes that hit Pakistan in 2005 and Haiti just over a year ago. He emphasized the importance of planning and resource management when it comes to responding to disasters that overwhelm local emergency/medical systems.

He showed us a few slides from Haiti. The photos were of signs that the Haitians placed on their gates and sides of their homes that said things like:

“WE NEED HELP”

and

“PLEASE HELP.
NEED FOOD, WATER, MEDICINE.
WE CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE”

He said the signs were everywhere — that one of the hardest parts of the trip was passing such homes by, knowing that there might be people suffering and dying just on the other side.

“Especially for people like us, who got into EMS because we want to help people. It was really hard to see people in need and just keep moving on towards the place that [the UN/OCHA] assigned to us. But we knew we had to keep going. If we just stopped at the first sign we saw — well, then everyone would just stop at the first sign and no one would ever get out to the people who were farther away. There were signs just like the ones we were seeing here, out there too. We just had to trust that people were going to be sent to the places we were passing by.”

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~ by justinhong on July 14, 2011.

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