Comox paramedic offering helping hand in Mexico

Ryan Thorbun aims to help Puerto Vallarta firefighters with ambulance, equipment

Comox paramedic Ryan Thorburn

Ryan Thorburn made a lasting impression on a group of firefighters a year ago, so much so that the Comox paramedic is giving them an ambulance.

Thorburn, who was a member of the Canadian Medical Assistance Teams who volunteered in Haiti following their catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake, is returning to Mexico following his inaugural trip last year when he donated an ambulance full of medical equipment to the village of El Tuito.

The village is about an hour south of Puerto Vallarta, which is where he and his friend Chris Hounsell stopped prior to continuing their voyage.

“(Their fire department) showed us around, we had a few refreshments and we got the idea that they wanted this ambulance,” noted Thorburn.

The Puerto Vallarta firefighters told the pair they didn’t have a running ambulance for more than a year.

“This means that all the locals, elderly and people without a care program are not getting rides to the hospital. The ambulances you see in Puerto Vallarta are private ambulances that work for the tourist plans, Canadians, (Americans and) Europeans.”

Thorburn added those needing medical transport generally go to the hospital in the backs of cars or motorcycles.

“We want them to have an ambulance for the care we think they deserve.”

This year, Thorburn is driving down on Dec. 1 for two weeks alongside Hounsell and another friend Patrick Lewis, and they are filling their ambulance full of firefighting equipment thanks to assistance from Firefighters Crossing Borders in Seattle.

Thorburn said when he looked at the fire truck compartments last year at the station in Puerto Vallarta, he saw gloves, rags, hardhats instead of helmets, “and a lot of space.”

He has raised funds to purchase the ambulance and equipment thanks to local Rotary clubs and fire departments, but is accepting financial donations for fuel, tolls and incidentals.

Donations can be made to Thorburn directly; for more information or for e-transfers, email rydoth@gmail.com.

Just Posted

Comox Valley Record putting the call out to Snowbirds shutterbugs

David Suther sent in this great pic of the Snowbirds, shot from… Continue reading

Too Good To Be Threw back in downtown Courtenay with second location

The new store opened Tuesday at 456 5th Street

World Community screens This Mountain Life in Courtenay

The awe that mountainous landscapes evoke is universal. World Community presents the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Comox Valley Stage 4 water restrictions lifted

Video explains planning and execution of repair

Comox Valley youth rank high in Skills Canada BC competition

Comox Valley students brought home some new hardware last week after achieving… Continue reading

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

CONTEST ALERT: Win tickets to A Night of Bowie

Do you want to see “A Night of Bowie” on us? The… Continue reading

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man charged with daughters’ murders

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C. man turned to dating site for pimp operation, court hears

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Tofino beckons Trudeau for quiet Easter vacation

Environmental group hopes latest Pacific Rim vacation inspires change in prime minister

Most Read