Monday, April 19, 2010

Paul Embleton and The Brave Foundation April 2010

Ever since I moved to Mexico and started
working with Cruz Roja Chapala, 
I've been trying to get an
Advanced Life Support ambulance
in service here at the lake.

We have terrific sophisticated medical
centers in Guadalajara,
but they are an hour away and
that hour can be life-threatening for some patients.

We have had some near-successes
and we have had some significant
 But for the most part,
we have not been successful
in getting an ALS ambulance up
and running.

For all the same reasons the world over:
money and politics.

While watching CNN one night last year,
I saw a piece on a Washington state
firefighter/paramedic who was up for
CNN Hero of the Year.

Before Larry King had signed off
I had already emailed Paul Embleton.
How could he be so successful
where I have failed so miserably!

Paul has built fire stations, created an
aquatic ambulance for transporting 
patients across Lake Atitlán, 
and set up a slew of training centers
across Guatemala.

Not to mention organizing and transporting
fleets of donated ambulances, firetrucks,
and other assorted vehicles from Washington
to Guatemala.
REMOTE Guatemala!

I went to Lago Atitlán, Guatemala,
to meet up with Paul and find out.

Paul's current project was building a
clinic/firehouse/ambulance center in the
tiny village of San Juan La Laguna,
so one morning I caught a panga from Panajachel to 
San Juan to meet him.

No surprise he was a nice guy.
He had some good advice and I came back
re-energized and with a new attitude.

Meet Paul. . .

. . .and see what he's been so busy doing.


(Don't miss the videos!)

Paul's Blog 

Recycled medical and/or fire equipment gladly
accepted by Cruz Roja and BRAVE.
Email me if you have donations
and we can work out the details.


  1. And bravo! to you, too for all your efforts. You're tenacious enough about this project, I believe you'll succeed.

  2. Thanks, Bliss. I hope I live long enough. . .
    Politics, arrrggghh.

  3. Sounds like Paul had a network going before heading South. He's pretty inspiring.

    Don't get discouraged. I've done plenty of marketing/advertising over the years & the secret is to keep trying (to the same audience). And remember "no follow up, no sale".
    Lots of guilty rich folks over at Chapala Society, might be a source.

  4. He did. And he has the instant credibility of having the fire department behind him. Also he's been at it for 15 years, me 6. And he forged a very strong connection with Rotary in WA, which has been instrumental in raising money for him.

    Your right, the LCS gringos all want it - well, at least those who believe me when I tell them the ambulances don't even have defibrillators. The rest think they're in Disneyland and nothing bad will ever happen to them.

    They keep cheering me on then tell me their horror stories of someone they know who just died at a local clinic. arrgghh.

    The time is right, tho. We have a new medical director, speaks fluent English, good doc, advanced trained and works off time in a real ER in Guad, nice guy, we work well together, he is sympathetic and agrees with me about the need. I'll bring up the subject once again . . .

    My friends are sick of the subject with me but people die before their time here. I can't stand that. I can't accept that.

    We could probably scrape the money together but it would cost about another 50,000 pesos a month on an already thinly stretched monthly budget. Getting a service like that up is one thing, KEEPING it up is another. CR depends 100% on donations. 100%! And advanced 911 is not known for it's profitability.

    Thanks for the tips and thoughts, and you're right Joe.