Guyana Development Mission International, an international relief organization created by Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Mike Mielke, will receive two refurbished ambulances formerly owned by TransCare Medical Transportation to help provide critical emergency medical services to the people of Guyana.
The ambulances have been stocked with critical medical supplies and mechanical replacement parts with the help of Pasco County Fire Rescue, the sheriff’s office, Wilderness Lake Church, Crockett’s Towing and Scaife Enterprises. They will be used through two hospitals in Georgetown.
Ambulances with more than 300,000 miles can no longer be used for medical transportation in Hillsborough County, and have minimal resale value, according to a release.
This latest effort was made possible by Terence Ramotar, vice president of TransCare, whose parents immigrated to the United States from the small coastal nation. His connection to Mielke was practically coincidence for the time his organization was looking for ambulances to help the country.
“It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time,” said Ramotar, in a release. “The two vehicles had recently come to the end of their service life, and we met Sgt. Mielke at the same time. I’ve traveled to Guyana and have seen the need first-hand. These vehicles have saved lives in the Tampa Bay area. It’s great to know they’ll now be used to save lives in Guyana.
TransCare is a division of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, a not-for-profit organization that responds to 183,000 requests for help each year.
Guyana, with a population of a little more than 750,000, is located in the northern part of South America, with Georgetown its largest city at 235,000 people. Life expectancy in Guyana is a little older than 70 years, compared to nearly 80 in the United States. That ranks it 126th in the world, with one of the leading causes of death in the country being malaria.