CDS leaders and volunteers supported Manuel’s family and handed his mother the Guardian Angel Medallion given by the governing body of Comandos de Salvamento. This designated him as a hero of CDS SINCE HE GAVE OVER 25 years of his life to serve Salvadorans when they are most in need. Manuel was buried in La Bermeja cemetery where he was given well deserved honor for his service. Feliz viaje amigo.
Today we lost one of our most cherished veteran first-responders. So much was his greatness that only his humility and courage surpassed it. We saw him carry wounded children, men and women amid shootings and tear gas during civil unrest and civil war.
He had an unwavering spirit of service. Manuel Funes “El Colera” as we affectionately called him in within our ranks.
The Board of Directors of Comandos de Salvamento regret the death of our colleague and friend who for many years wore the yellow uniform dedicating his time to the service of others.
I first met Manuel in 1996 as he trained me to be a first-responder “estilo Comando” while embedded with Comandos de Salvamento at their main base in San Salvador. During street protests and riots, he taught me to always bring civilians to “our” ambulance instead of “their ambulance”, “because we will never see them again if you don’t Marko.” We also worked side by side in Bajo Lempa during Hurricane Mitch Evacuations and recovering the dead in January 2001, at the first true ground zero of 2001 where an earthquake caused a landslide to cover 800 homes.
His sense of humor helped a lot of us that day. We will miss you COLERA!”
This last April, CDS experienced another LODD, Line of Duty Death with Moisés Abraham Orellana trying to rescue two people taken by a riptide at Majahual beach in La Libertad.
The youth was very popular at our local base in El Congo , Santa Ana where he originates from and he was also a member of the National Institute music band.
Representative party GANA member of the Salvadoran General Assembly, Juan Carlos Mendoza, offered a minute of silence for his parents who were grateful for the gesture and asked that his memory stay strong since all he wanted was to serve his fellow Salvadorans. Immediately after required EMS courses, he put on his yellow uniform and went to work.
Juan remains a strong presence at our brother’s and sister’s local base of El Congo, Santa Ana and we and El Salvador thank you for your service.
Moisés Abraham Orellana.