We finally have a concrete mission, the details of which I will be clarifying in my next post to this blog. The first year of MakeSafe's existence we spent doing research, planning, training, networking and training some more.
Shortly after we reached our first anniversary, the team and I decided it was time to forge a plan to get operational within our second year and that is exactly what we began to do. With this article I wanted to explain what has been going on behind the scenes over the last year, starting with the birth of MakeSafe on March 21st, 2015.
The concept of MakeSafe came to fruition soon after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant began gaining international attention with their brutal attacks. I wanted to do something to aid in the fight against ISIL so I began planning. My original plan was to join up with the Kurdish Peshmerga, as many other veterans had done. I realized fairly quickly that I would do little to improve the situation and that in order to make any positive changes I would have to be backed by an organized group of like-minded individuals. Instead of just adding more guns to the fight, we decided to create an organization dedicated to saving lives.
The first step to building the framework of our organization was deciding our projected scope of our operations. We began researching the needs of the areas we planned on operating in; this research revealed a very large demand for explosive hazard removal and medical assistance. Since the cofounder of the organization was already an explosives expert I shifted my focus toward medicine. I immediately began seeking as much medical training as I could with a thirty-five day training pipeline in High Threat Protection and Tactical Combat Casualty Care from Secfor International at the Mira Costa College followed by an Emergency Medical Technician course at the College of Southern Nevada. In my studies I came across a new and emerging healthcare field known as Community Paramedicine. In short, Community Paramedicine expands the scope of practice of the Emergency Medical Services provider and encourages the use of all resources available in the Area of Operations. This allows a smaller number of providers to service a much larger area with maximum efficiency. This was the operations model we began building for operations in Africa, a topic I will be delving into more deeply in future posts.
After this process we moved on to finding a region to begin our operations in. While our long term goal is to operate in hostile environments, it will take a significant amount of resources to do so properly. In the meantime we selected Tanzania to initiate our pilot program. It is a relatively peaceful country that has recently begun improving their prehospital care services with the help of Trek Medics International and the Tanzania Rural Health Movement. We will be assisting in the development of new EMS systems in the rural areas of the country. Tanzania is also in close proximity to South Sudan and Uganda; both of these countries are in need of landmine removal assistance. This will make it much easier to expand our services to include the Unexploded Ordnance Disposal operations we have planned for the future.
Now that the general plan is in place, our focus for 2016 is to raise funds for our mission to Tanzania. We wish to charge as little as possible, if anything, for our services. To make this possible we rely on individual donations to cover our startup costs. Rather than just harassing our supporters for donations, we have planned several awesome events throughout the year. The first of these events is on Saturday, July 23rd. The Leatherneck Club in Las Vegas has generously allowed us to host a fundraiser and party to celebrate the first anniversary of our approval as a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. While it is a Marine Corps themed bar, we invite everyone from all walks of life to join us in our celebration! This goes for all of our future events. Thank you all for your continued support and I hope you will follow us as we embark on this adventure!