An Open Letter to Our ITLS Colleagues
All of us are aware of the terrible tragedy that has hit the people of Japan and it continues to unfold before our eyes. Some of you have seen the emails for Youta Kanesaki, coordinator for the Japan Chapter and a firefighter from Osaka. (If you haven't yet seen them, read them online at ITRAUMA.org) Osaka was spared the immediate damage from the quake, but like so many other places, it has sent equipment and personnel to help.
In a recent email, Youta states that some of the Japan Chapter ITLS personnel were EMS providers in some of the towns devastated by the earthquake and tsunami and are now unaccounted for. We can only hope and pray for their safety and for that of the many men and women who have answered the call and responded.
All of us are in this field because we choose to be and because we wish to help others in need. It is extremely frustrating for us to sit and watch what is happening and feel powerless to help.
ITLS prides itself in being a family and we take care of our own. Right now our colleagues in Japan and their countrymen need help. Not more responders but they do need supplies.
We issue this challenge to each of us in ITLS. We know that economic times are tough but each of us ought to be able to reach into our pockets and find something that we can give to the relief effort.
When it comes to trauma, our individual efforts may or may not always amount to much, but when combined with our other ITLS colleagues we have been able to make a significant contribution to the improvement of trauma care. It is time now for us to do the same thing for our colleagues in Japan.
Please share this appeal with all you know who are connected to ITLS. While we cannot stand next to Youta and help to provide care, he and his colleagues in the Japanese chapter and all the other responders can know we stand behind them and will help them get the tools and supplies needed.
Thank you for all that you do and for your care and concern in this difficult time.
John Campbell, President
Pete Gianas, Chair, Board of Directors
Donna Hastings, Chair, Editorial Board
Roy Alson, Editorial Board
International Trauma Life Support