Red Cross Update

Busy, busy, busy!
BY: REN DRAKE HILL

Cruz Roja welcomes Sergio C. Hernandez as their new hospital president, relieving Raul Zapata who has worked tirelessly as hospital president for many years.

Sergio is not new to Cruz Roja, and he attends every Cruz Roja event. He has previously been the secretary their hospital board. He was raised to support Cruz Roja since he was a child starting back in 1992 when he suffered a bad automobile accident and the emergency actions of Cruz Roja saved his life. He explained that no hospital or medical team will reach you sooner here than Cruz Roja.

 Sergio will take office after his official inauguration date in July. It isn’t widely known, but this position is unpaid. It’s a true gift of love to occupy this demanding position. 

Sadly, we bid adieu to Rosie Pena, Cruz Roja Voluntarios President, who has had to relinquish her position due to personal issues. Rosie will, however, remain very active with the Damas and hospital affairs so they may continue to “save lives by the second.” Stepping up to the presidency is Paul Flowers, current vice-president of the Voluntarios.

The Primo Tapia chapter of Cruz Roja Volunteers is feeling growing pains, as they’ve had to double the size of their thrift store to accommodate all of the donations, (which means doubling their rent costs), and there are still four garages holding items. (But please continue to donate your gently used items!) The money raised at this location helps to ensure ambulance service; the alternative being a 45 minute wait for an ambulance being dispatched from Rosarito.0

Rosie Pena told us there were 471 calls in April to the Cruz Roja hospital for ambulance service, which is free to the injured, but costs the hospital an average $40 per call. Most expats being transported want to be driven to the border after stabilization of the injury or illness. Whether one is a member or not, ($100 ambulance cost vs $200 fee for non-members), payment is not discussed at the time of injury or transport. Not everyone who gets hit by a car while out for a walk carries their credit card with them. Payment may be made at a later date. Try that in the United States!

Recently, members of the Cruz Roja special rescue unit risked their lives for more than 24 hours searching for a hiker who had fallen down a steep rocky cliff in Canon del Tajo. After locating the climber (or would that be “tumbler”?), the rescue workers stabilized his leg and transported him to the Rosarito Cruz Roja hospital.

This year’s collecta and donations raised nearly one million pesos and was matched by the Mexican government to provide a new ambulance in service to Rosarito. A new rescue vehicle is also on its way. Crus Roja wishes to thank everybody who has dropped money or checks into the collecta containers.

Last June a new snack program was instituted by Cruz Roja Mexicana. Racks of snacks and candy are appearing in many of the city’s bars with all proceeds going to the Cruz Roja hospital. If you don’t see the rack at your local watering hole, ask your manager to consider offering this service.

Cruz Roja volunteers’ recent Art and Flower Show held in Popotla was well-attended. There were 15 Venders and the food was hot and delicious, the wait staff plentiful, and $1650 was raised; more than a 50% increase over last year! 

Cruz Roja’s next major fundraiser is the annual Fashion Show and luncheon, Friday, August 5. If you wish to donate items for this, please contact Cheryl Shepard, events chair, 664-631-3509.