The government of Puerto Rico said last night that they’ve sent resources to Culebra — an island and tourist destination of around 1,800 where residents and tourists have reported a lack of critical emergency medical services. The government’s announcement comes days after “CBS Mornings” lead national correspondent David Begnaudon the island’s conditions.
From now on, Puerto Rico’s main island will send a team of two paramedics to Culebra who will work seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. local time. The paramedics will be on call outside of those hours, and crews will change weekly.
Before this week, the small island — which has recorded 18 known recorded drowning deaths since 1994 — had no working paramedics or available ambulances stocked with necessary emergency supplies. On Puerto Rico’s world-renowned Flamenco Beach there were no working lifeguards present to watch over the beach until recently.
Families of Flamenco Beach drowning victims previously spoke with Begnaud about the devastating impacts a lack of such care has had.
The Bureau of Emergency Medical Corps of Puerto Rico on Thursday shared pictures of officials meeting with Culebra mayor Edilberto Romero Llovet, who recently told Begnaud that he’s trying to change the island’s conditions.
Puerto Rico’s department of public health says they’ve sent Begnaud’s reporting to members of Congress and have asked for funding to permanently fix the situation that has plagued Culebra for years.