The Oregon Faith Report - Faith News from Oregon

Medford based Mercy Flights gives global help

June 25, 2009

Medical Teams International,

Medford-based Mercy Flights Air and Ground Ambulance did what it always does when a call for help comes in. It jumped to respond. Only this time, the call came from Sri Lanka and its fledgling Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program. Tigard-based Medical Teams International has been working for three years in Sri Lanka to develop EMT’s and ambulance services.  Since the devastating Tsunami of 2004, a strong Oregon connection has been built with participating emergency services agencies and paramedics.

Paul Bollinger, Senior EMS Advisor to Medical Teams International was notified of an urgent need for transport ventilators, used to help patients breathe during long rides. Paul contacted president of Oregon State Ambulance Association (OSAA), Shawn Baird, who has made two trips to Sri Lanka working on the project. The request went out to OSAA members and Mercy Flights general manager Ken Parsons quickly identified two surplus units they could make available.

“It’s great that this equipment can continue to save lives” Parsons said. “We have been fortunate to be able to upgrade, but the donated units still have a lot of capability.” According to Bollinger the new EMS system is quickly developing in Sri Lanka “We have enjoyed tremendous support from emergency responders in Oregon in getting this going. It is paying off in lives saved.”

MEDIA ALERT:  Both Shawn Baird and Paul Bollinger are available for interviews.
Shawn Baird, Oregon State Ambulance Association 503-449-3015
Paul Bollinger, Medical Teams International 503-624-1000

Since 1979, Medical Teams International has shipped more than 1.2 billion in antibiotics, surgical kits and lifesaving medicines to care for 35 million people in 100 countries around the world. More than 2000 volunteers meet the needs of people worldwide each year.

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14150 SW Milton Court • Tigard, OR 97224 • (503) 624-1000 • FAX (503) 624-1001

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