Greetings from the middle of the Gulf of Mexico,
As a RMI Remote Paramedic, I am generally the only American among the crews that I work with offshore. The majority of the crews that work on the vessels vary to some degree, but the single largest majority in terms of nationality are Filipinos.
These are my friends, my shipmates, and the men that I look after for more days in a year than I am at home. Two of my shipmates left the vessel when we all had a crew change by helicopter on November 6. One of them lives on the oceanfront near Tacloban and the other is in a small village very close by. Neither one of them has been located or heard from through any channels since Typhoon Haiyan.
On the ship right now, I have two people that we are sending home as soon as the weather permits. One of our cooks whose eight-month pregnant wife is trying to deal with a house that is now missing its roof as she is due to deliver in a few weeks. The other is a deck fitter who has been requested home by his company as no one can find any member of his family.
The remaining Filipinos are all scheduled to be here until the end of January, but will likely leave before that as they try to find replacements to come out here. It is a mess that I have a hard time wrapping my head around. At the same time, I am trying to find a way to help is some way shape or form.
I am very fortunate that Remote Medical International has set up a Typhoon Relief Fund to match contributions and give 100% of donated funds to Team Rubicon. Team Rubicon specializes in extremely fast action response for medical support into disaster zones. They are setting up a hospital in the heart of the area right now in Tacloban and supporting the surrounding villages. Perhaps the worst thing to do in disaster relief situations is to send unnecessary supplies and unskilled personnel. Remote Medical International is using its knowledge of disaster relief and medical support to ensure all money donated has the greatest positive affect in the Philippines.
Remote Medical International has set up a page for donations directly to Team Rubicon. I thank you all in advance for any help you can give to this cause. There are few times that I have felt so powerless to help people and their families as I have with this storm, but this is a good start. Please join me in donating to the RMI Typhoon Relief Fund.
Have a good remainder of your week everyone, see you around Christmas time.
RMI Remote Paramedic, Senior Remote Medical Provider