Authorities of the new Board of Directors of Comandos de Salvamento El Salvador, held the first gathering for the young rescuers as a form of gratitude despite the pandemic that the country is facing.
The young volunteers from Ciudad Arce, Tepecoyo, El Congo, Zapotitán, Santa Ana and Quezaltepeque, came together to share a time of healthy recreation and in this way thank all the effort they make to cover emergencies at the national level.
CDS also thanked the companies and entities such as Pettenati, Topao, ODESSA, Muebles Encima and the City Hall of Ciudad Arce, for the support they provided so that this gathering would take place.
In addition, to Mr. Smelin Portillo and a Funeral Home, because in this way some prizes were awarded to the lifeguards, who others enjoyed sporting events and swimming in the recreational center where said gathering took place.
Rescue Commands presented plaques of recognition to the Pettenati company, American Park, Termos del Río and the Mayor of Ciudad Arce, Francisco Morán, for the contribution made during the emergency of the pandemic and the strengthening of the young rescuers.
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.
59 years ago, 10 brave men decided to begin a life adventure of helping others and now that spirit continues through the lives of thousands of young volunteers that are part of the great Comandos de Salvamento healthcare organization.
The dedication in our volunteers extends to every fabric of Salvadoran society. Our volunteers are housewives, caregivers, and professionals dedicate themselves to the service of the Salvadoran public.
Many youth, men and women leave their homes in order to be first responders to Motor Vehichle accidents that have increased over the last few months. They expect nothing in return and at times, a common thank you from the community that sees them in the pre hospital care environment makes them extremely proud for having saved a life.
59 years has been difficult since most of the first decades was funded by CDS first responders soliciting donations on the public transportation system.
Our volunteers have risked and lost their lives during natural disasters such as Hurricane Fifi, Mitch, Stan and have rescued many from floodings and land slides.
The civil war left a bad taste in our mouth due to difficult memories being in the crossfire of both sides of the argument, but we gained respect from each side due to our strong value of neutrality helping victims of both sides and civilians caught in between.
Our institution also was brought up to be a possible nominee for the nobel peace price some years ago and now arriving at the age of 59, the governing board thanks these 10 men that started this grass roots organization that was then based in Ciudad Delgado. They put their heart and soul into the founding of CDS EL SALVADOR.
During the celebration at the Central Base of Comandos, other sponsoring agencies were thanked for their spirit of solidarity. This included: FEDECACES, Pan Génesis, Plus Makers, and Doctors without Borders SPAIN. ARENA party representative José Andrés Hernández sponsored the celebration and is also advocating for a more positive fiscal sponsorship from the governmant so that Comandos can provide quality Community and EMS health care in 2020.