In March, Mark Majors and his daughter Naomi attended the International Conference on Disaster Medicine and Hurricane Resiliency at American University of the Caribbean in Coral Gables, Florida.
While at this conference, both Majors and his daughter met Micaela Hart and Joanna Rijnboutt of Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS), an EMS training organization that provides training in First Aid, CPR/AED, EMR (First Responder), EMT prehospital care on the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten.
During this meeting, Majors learned that WIEMS had been having a difficult time replacing a nineteen-year-old ambulance that was in their fleet of two.
“Getting the financing was our biggest hurdle. We are a foundation geared towards prehospital medical training, and we assist during large events and disasters. We are not sponsored by the Government. We have tried to get funding from several organizations, but an ambulance was considered too expensive” Rijinboutt explained.
By the end of that meeting Majors, who has been helping people in need for forty years, knew what he was going to do: he was going to donate an ambulance to WIEMS.
Making the donation was the easy part, getting it to them was an adventure.
Before the ambulance was sent across the Atlantic Ocean and down into the Caribbean, Majors had the 2013 Ford E-Series van undergo some maintenance.
He replaced the tires, brakes, belts, plugs and wires, and gave it an alignment. But that wasn’t all.
Majors also had the back of the ambulance packed with training equipment and supplies, including a stretcher.
For nearly two months Majors and Rijnboutt emailed back and forth getting all of the paperwork and documents in order to ship the ambulance from Melville, Louisiana to WIEMS in Sint Maarten.
Finally, on May 28 the ambulance was delivered to the Port in Miami to begin its six-day journey across the ocean on a freighter.
Completing the 1,996-mile trip, the ambulance arrived in Sint Maarten on June 4 where Michaela Hart and several WIEMS personnel took possession of it adding it to their fleet.
“We cannot express how grateful we are to Mr. Mark Majors for this very generous donation! WIEMS will now be able to keep serving our community at events large and small, and during times of disaster” said Maria Chemont, President of WIEMS.