Twenty-seven year old Dr. Grace Coronel is from Guayaquil, Ecuador. She works on a cruise ship called the Silversea Galapagos as medical officer in charge, and she often vacations in Virginia Beach visiting her boyfriend and his family.
On a recent trip to our city, she wanted to further her experience in the field, and VBEMS gladly set her up on an observer ride with EMT Lynette Dimitry and Paramedic Susan Palmer.
“My first impression was how skilled the team was,” Coronel says. “Throughout the day, we responded to several calls involving pediatrics, seniors, psychiatric and cancer patients. I saw their protocols and procedures, and they provided background about the various training they’ve received. I learned a lot and truly hope I can ride again in the future.”
The resources available to first responders here impressed Coronel, particularly as they relate to their fast arrival times. “I look forward to sharing my experience with colleagues in Ecuador,” she says. “Our system is lacking the proper equipment and trained personnel, and most hospitals do not communicate well within the emergency system. I hope to continue my training in emergency medical care; after all, the most important thing in health care is to save lives and keep our patients safe.”