Cozumel News August 25th, 2014: An American Hero in Cozumel, Crocodiles Reign in Cozumel Waters, and Cozumel to Host Archaeological-Astronomy Conference.
An American Hero in Cozumel
I have written before about William Salmon, a United States firefighter that has selflessly helped the Cozumel Firefighters with equipment and training over the years. I thought about him yesterday when I wrote about the Cozumel Firefighters receiving their first new uniforms in 20 years, working without life insurance, and without an increase since 2008 to the ridiculously low wages they receive. I could not find my old article to include him in yesterday’s Sun, but today one of the local Newspapers wrote about him. I will recap their article and some of what I remember:
In 1995 a fire broke out on the corner of Rafael E. Melgar Avenue and 2nd Street North at a business called PROCOCO. William B. Salmon, an American Tourist, watched from the nearby pier how Cozumel Firefighters handled the situation. As a Firefighter himself, I am certain he was probably terrified for the Cozumel Firefighters that he observed entering the burning building without breathing apparatus. He watched as they entered to evacuate employees and fight the fire supported by only the air in their lungs. The courageous Cozumel firefighters went in and did what they could, came out to take in a breath of fresh air and continued the process until their objective was met, leaving them exhausted.
Later that day, the tourist paid a visit to the Firehouse and had a conversation with the Fire Captain. He identified himself as William Salmon, a firefighter from Colorado, United States and promised to do everything in his power to get some breathing tanks donated to the Cozumel Fire Department, so they may enter places invaded by smoke and fumes that are damaging to their health.
As the story goes, the promise to attain tanks for Cozumel brought no excitement, as many foreigners regularly make promises to help but rarely do. True to his word, Salmon contacted the Fire Department Captain in 1996 with the news that he was bringing 10 steel canisters that would provide air for the Cozumel Firefighters. The necessary red tape to receive the donation was carried out by a Victor Vivas González, according to today’s article in Por Esto.
The new tanks presented a problem; no one knew how to use them. In 1997 Bill Salmon returned, this time with on the job training covering the use of the tanks, fire prevention methods, and training videos of real fires. Once again, he was not empty handed, he brought donated masks, gloves, and boots for the firehouse.
In 1998 more courses were taught by Salmon, and he extended the invitation to fire departments of Playa del Carmen, and the CREI) self-Rescue and Fire Fighting of Cozumel (airport firefighters). The course on the handling of hazardous materials was one of the many topics,
In1999, Felix González Canto, the Mayor of Cozumel, sat in and participated in some of the exercises in the course taught by Bill Salmon. It was that year that Bill Salmon brought to Cozumel the fire vehicle he called “Homer.” In 2000, after more maneuvering of paperwork, one more vehicle was added, the “Lingo” a fire vehicle with an expandable ladder, whose premiere was a drill on the Esplanade Banner.
Months later, in Cozumel a car accident involving two people would arise in which one of the passengers died instantly, and the other person was pressed between twisted metals. The firefighters armed with only levers and any metal tool they could get their hands on worked for an hour before managing to get him free and to the paramedics, Unfortunately, he died in the hospital.
It was clear that Cozumel needed the “Jaws of Life”, a tool used to cut and pry open the crushed metal to rescue people trapped in vehicles. The City Council reached out to Bill Salmon once again and the life saving tool was brought to the island along with hoses and attachments for the firefighters. Por Esto reported that according to May Borges, the City paid the transportation and Bill donated the equipment. Bill Salmon provided the instruction and training on how to use the “Jaws of Life.” The tool is dangerous to use if you do not have the proper training and knowledge. The Jaws of Life has been very helpful in rescuing people and saving lives in Cozumel.
In 2008 a training course was conducted by Bill Salmon and an instructor from the Firefighter School of Colorado, in Cozumel, that included other Municipalities of Quintana Roo and Isla Mujeres, Tulum, Cancun, Chetumal, Felipe Carrillo Puerto and Playa del Carmen, some of which lacked basic firefighting courses. The course included: Hazardous Materials, “The Jaws of Life” Rescue, and Mayday, a training workshop for a team of firefighters to rescue firefighters caught in a fire.
Every year since I have lived here, I see on the news that this wonderful man came, once again with donations and training for the fire department. He is also instrumental in recruiting other U.S. firefighters and trainers to come to Cozumel and share their training and skills.
Once again, I read that Captain William Salmon was here 15 days ago planning the 2015-2017 work plans to provide updated training courses for local firefighters. I always manage to miss him! If anyone knows his schedule, please contact me so I can catch up with this hero of Cozumel and get his side of this story.
Captain Salmon has been recognized only by receiving an Honorary Cozumel Firefighter Award. I think those of you that work with the Mayor to name the Cozumel Volunteer of the year (on the fourth of July) should consider nominating Captain Salmon. I challenge the City, the Rotary Club, anyone in a position to designate and award a plaque to this man to do so.
By no means does the Captain stand alone in efforts to help the people of Cozumel. There are others quietly giving of their time, talents, goods, and money. I think it is time these good people come out of the shadows so that the local community knows the extent of our contribution to the island’s economy and survival. Too often, the image of “the ugly American” Tourist is all that is left publicly to represent us all.
Last of all, if Captain William Salmon is reading this, Thank you for all you have done and continue to do! You are a role model for Volunteers and Donors everywhere. You are a true hero; it would be a great honor to meet you next time you are in town!
Closed Wednesdays Las Catrinas Night of Acoustic Rock LIVE! Saturday, August 30 10:30pm – 1:00 a.m.
The Cozumel mangroves are home to different species of animals and plants, which is why the place is recognized by the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) as the Mexican island rich in the quantity of amphibians and reptiles.
At the top of the food chain of the island lies the “Crocodile Acutus”, otherwise known as the American Crocodile. This crocodile is on the endangered list in most of America. In Mexico, it is the subject of special protection. Despite being at the top of the food chain, Acutus reptiles are malnourished.
The Foundation of Cozumel Parks and Museums (FPMC) said in a report on the Colombia Lagoon, part of the nature reserve of Punta Sur, that there are about 400 crocodiles that live in the coastal lagoons of the island and the mangrove areas.
In the tours that are offered to tourists across the lagoon, you can see them regularly sunbathing, as it is at night when they hunt their food, the reason why they have become a tourist attraction.
In December 2012, management personnel of the Conservation and Environmental Education (CEA) of FPMC found that adult specimens of this species showed a high degree of malnutrition. The CEA, supported by a wildlife specialist from “Africam Safari”, conducted sampling of tissue and blood of animals that live in the lagoon to determine the causes, however, the findings were never released.
CONABIO notes that the states where these reptiles are most at risk are Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Chiapas, Guerrero, Colima, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit and Sinaloa.The Women’s Breakfast Group will meet this Wednesday at the Playa Azul Hotel at 9 a.m. The Breakfast Buffet has been BROUGHT BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND. We had a wonderful time at Playa Azul, most of us enjoyed a dip in the sea and taking in the beauty around us in lounge chairs after the delicious meal. You can bring a bathing suit and enjoy the Sea or pool after breakfast! RSVP so we print enough two for one Buffet Coupons! Head north on Melgar to the northern hotel zone. The Playa Azul Hotel is located on the left side of the road near the Country Club. If you need a ride contact Nancy at email@example.com or Sheila at scuba firstname.lastname@example.org.
National and international experts on Astrology and Archaeology will share research on the Mayan World in Cozumel this week. Specialists from around the world will exchange ideas, insights and advances in research of the Mayan worldview, at the “The Role of Archaeoastronomy in the Maya World: The Case of Cozumel Island.”
This international meeting, to be held from the 27th to the 29th of August, is organized by the Government of the state of Quintana Roo, the City of Cozumel, and the Mexico Office of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), reports NOTIMEX (State of Mexico News Agency).
According to information released by the organizers, this three-day meeting will provide various conferences and presentations, which will address, namely: Archaeoastronomy, communication systems between the island and the mainland throughout earth history, and the exchange between Cozumel and the Mayan world.
After the inauguration, which will be conducted by state government officials and the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), this international meeting will begin with a lecture “Megalithic Circle Odry, Poland”, by Stanislaw Iwaniszewski a specialist from the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH).
In addition to national experts, experts from France, South Africa, Puerto Rico and Peru, such as Michel Cotte, Jarita Holbrook, Angel Rodriguez and Ivan Ghezzi, will participate.
A Message From The Sun
Remember to give back to our wonderful Island! The Volunteer & Donate Section of The Cozumel Sun has information on Volunteer opportunities for you: Juan Pablo II Senior Home, Friends of Cozumel, Cozumel CAM School for Disabled Children, The Cozumel Sea Turtle Rescue Program, The Humane Society of Cozumel, Rancho Universo Horse Sanctuary and Horse Therapy Centre, The Cozumel Blood Drive, and the Three Kings Day Toy Drive.
Note: If you are headed to Cozumel on vacation, or are returning to Cozumel from vacationing in the United States, check out the wish lists of the various non-profit organizations. Many of the items are not available in Cozumel and almost always, the items that are available are extremely expensive here due to the high cost of transporting goods to the island.
If you are already part of one of these wonderful organizations, please proof the information that I have taken from your website and Facebook page. Please contact me with any changes and updates. I am a one-woman operation and really need your help in order to provide my readers with the most current information available. Thank you for your assistance!http://www.thecozumelsun.com/cozumel-tours-by-cab/ Enjoy a Comfortable, Air Conditioned, Stress Free Day of Fun in The Sun! Cheaper Than Rental with Insurance & Satisfaction Guaranteed! We Speak English! Chilson & Associates International New Listings for Oceanfront Condominiums and Two Cozumel homes for Sale! http://www.thecozumelsun.com/cozumel-coupons/ DO YOU LIKE THE COZUMEL SUN? HELP KEEP THE COZUMEL SUN GOING! BECOME A SPONSOR AND ADVERTISE WITH US!