A group of Grande Prairie Rotarians recently made the trip down to Mexico to deliver seven emergency vehicles. One of the project’s drivers Kris Podolski says the most surprising part was that a city, like Culiacan, of a million people only had four ambulances before they delivered theirs.
“So, imagine needing an ambulance, calling 911 and hearing that two paramedics are cycling towards you. Paramedics down there work on bicycles to get to calls faster.”
Podolski says it was a life changing experience and worth the work it took to bring the vehicles down. He explains that he has never done something for others that had such a big impact on a community.
Harry Sandhu was partnered with Podolski for the ride down. He says his favourite part is getting the hats from GP Promotional half way down the road to their destination.
“No one really keeps those hats. We give out handshakes and give the hats out when we get there.”
The tradition has been going with the club for years in hopes that the travelling Rotarians can meet and speak with someone new to make connections.
In the 2017 trip, one fire truck, two rescue vehicles and four ambulances were gifted to communities in Mexico along with safety equipment. Sandu says for ease, that is about the maximum that the club will transport down. The next trip is already being planned and donations can be given by contacting the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie.