Although exhausted, Comandos who are part of El Salvador’s national USAR group are working night and day in Morelos, Mexico where there is the possibility of 4 survivors in a building.
They rest little, since time is pressed in order to recover the victims who are still under the collapsed building. The SAR group from El Salvador is assigned one of three levels where they can hear the voices of people trying to survive and will work throughout the night in order to rescue or recover them.
With their faith in God and the courage of a typical Comando this morning, a small contingent from our main base left this morning to Mexico City to join in on Search and Rescue/Recovery efforts already underway for the last 24 hours when the earthquake hit Tuesday September 19th.
Comando Veterans included Roberto Campos, Jhonny Edgar Ramos, Carlos Vásquez, Roberto Márquez, Josué Najarro and Edwin Portal. One by one they gathered their belongings and said goodbye to their families. One of their children wrote a message on a prominent social networking site, “We will pray that you return dad, you are an example to follow by dedicating your life to save others, I love you and await your return.”
This Wednesday afternoon, a second group of Comando volunteers will be sent to Mexico to help in recovery efforts.
El Salvador’s USAR team which is composed of members from Comandos de Salvamento are heading to Mexico City in collaboration with other groups in order to help the public that were affected by two earthquakes.
These young volunteers have been specifically trained in the search, rescue and recovery operations and will be dispatched in a few hours in order to help our Mexican brothers and sisters that have been affected by three earthquakes within the span of one month. More than 100 have been killed or disappeared.
Two Germans became missing Tuesday afternoon around the Chaparriastique Volcano in San Miguel. Comandos de Salvamento, National Firefighters, and other first responder groups participated in the search.
Luckily the Germans, Jens Bauer and Anika Jentner, were located and examined by our Medics to rule out any injuries or illnesses.
Gangs have been a part of El Salvador for many decades now and has always been a difficult situation for the youth of El Salvador. This theme fluctuates up and down though in the public eye through the media depending on the geo political environment between El Salvador and the United States. We are grateful for Vice covering our work under somewhat trying circumstances.
Felipe Atkins, assigned regional director of Norsk Folkehjelp in Latin America stopped by to visit the Comandos since “Ayuda Popular Noruega” has assisted CDS with various projects since the early 80s and is one of the primary supporters of the CDS mission.
Felipe Atkins and assistant Nestor Napal, met with members of the CDS governing board to discuss the mission, projects, and future growth of Comandos. Both expressed interest in workshops developed over the last decade by the CDS Gender team whose focus is to augment support and equality for all CDS first responders and volunteers regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Another focus discussed was the empowerment of women comandos throughout the institution.
Comandos de Salvamento has on average 10 female first responders on the SAR and Extrication team who have proven themselves to be an essential part of these teams to support male, female, geriatric and children patients. They also have shown themselves able to manage the Jaws of Life and other extrication equipment in order to extricate victims of MVAs.
Felipe Atkins reports that Norsk Folkehjelp will continue to support the values, mission, and rescue teams of Comandos de Salvamento well into the future and CDS is thankful for this essential component to help the people of El Salvador.