Baja California, Mexico



June 10, 2005, Celia Diaz, Binational Emergency Medical Care Committee, Baja California, Mexico medical assistance and evacuation reports:

A two-year-old child was accidentally shot in the leg by her father at their home in Indio, Calif. The father panicked and took the child across the border into Mexicali to a private clinic. The doctor called the authorities when he saw the gunshot wound. The police came and arrested the father of the child. The American Consulate called me here at the Binational Emergency Medical Care Committee to help them make arrangements with ambulance transport out of Mexico, hospital admission, and to take the responsibility to place the child in the hands of the U.S. authorities upon arrival at the U.S. hospital.

The father was eventually released from jail, but the authorities placed the child in a foster home until the legal case is resolved in the United States.

May 17, 2005, Celia Diaz, Binational Emergency Medical Care Committee, Baja California Medical Assistance Reports:

I received a letter from Bill Harold, who called the Binational Emergency Medical Care Committee on his satellite phone on April 10, 2004, when his friend Mike Reno was injured in a motorcycle accident in Baja California. After arranging a helicopter rescue, I was informed by the Mexican Coast Guard that this was the first time that Mexican naval forces sent a helicopter inland to rescue an American.

Harold's letter said: "On Sunday April 10th, my friend Mark Reno had a serious injury about 25 miles west of Lake Chapala in a roadless area. Although we had a satellite phone we had no idea of who to call for rescue. Luckily, we did have the Binational Emergency Medical Care Committee (BEMCC) card and that turned out to be the best number we could have called. You can't imagine how it feels to hear a phone ring in the middle of nowhere and have Celia say help is on the way!"

Another case involves an American who had just purchased the Life Saver Card. I received a call around 3 a.m. from my answering service stating it was a life and death situation. The number they gave me was in the 619 area code. It turned out to be "Jason" (not his real name) who said he had just been stabbed by unknown assailants who broke into his home.

I thought he was calling from San Diego, so I told him to call 911. He said, "No. I am calling you from my cell phone in Tijuana. I need help."

While I had him on the line, I called the ambulance to pick him up, and I also asked them to call the police. I kept talking to him until help arrived. I told them to take him to the border and call 911. Upon his arrival at the U.S. hospital, I called the San Diego Police Liaison Unit to report the crime and to interview Jason who was admitted as a John Doe and kept under guard for security reasons.