wphoto provided
wphoto provided
Rachelle Beiler, Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire Department volunteer and student, is taking her knowledge of medicine to Haiti in November.

Beiler, a recent graduate from Central Oregon Community College, has gone through the student program at SCSFD where students serve as volunteer firefighters and EMTs, and in exchange, the department pays for their schooling. She graduated in paramedicine this past year and is in her third year as a student at the department. She is currently fulfilling the internship requirement of the program in Portland, and after that she will be a certified paramedic.

“We do everything within the department as students, from going on fires and responding to emergencies and driving the ambulance,” Beiler said.

Beiler has always wanted to go into medicine, but she realized she also enjoyed incorporating the firefighting aspect as well, hence she chose to be an EMT/paramedic. Now, she wants to further pursue her career as a full-time paramedic. She has always wanted to take medicine overseas and experience a new world in medicine.

“I want to take a year or two to grow my paramedic skills overseas in a different third-world environment,” she said.

She found out about Project Helping Hands, which takes crews of medical professionals to foreign countries to help those in need. The humanitarian group has established relationships with locals around various countries and comes in and does a variety of procedures and deliveries of medical supplies and medication. The cost of the medication for somewhere like Haiti is especially high.

“Once the cost of the trip is paid for by fundraising, the rest of the money goes towards paying for the supplies and medications to be delivered,” she said.

Hers is a 10-day trip, where they will be making these deliveries and visiting clinics and treating patients.

“There aren’t as many rules there, so they allow you to do a lot more if you have any medical training at all, so it is a chance for me to grow my skills,” she said. “Being a new paramedic, I want to grow my skills as much as I can, while also fulfilling my desire to travel to other countries.”

According to their website, “Project Helping Hands is a non-affiliated, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing sustainable healthcare and education programs to people in developing countries, through culturally sensitive adventure.”

Beiler has to do all of her own fundraising to reach a goal of $5,000 for the cost of the trip and supplies for the country. They bring teams of nurses, doctors and anyone in the medical field to treat patients and go around the country visiting clinics to help improve the conditions for those in need in third world countries. Beiler has already received support from the Sisters community but will be fundraising through the summer, and her trip is in November.

“I thank the community for the support they’ve already given me, it means a lot,” she said. “I am excited to travel to a new place and have a new experience and potentially do this in the future for a longer amount of time,” she said.

See http://bit.ly/RachelleHaiti for more information on how to donate to Beiler’s fundraiser to get her to Haiti.