Friday, February 7, 2014

Retired American firefighter starts EMT school in Haiti

David Gunter didn’t know when he planned a trip to Haiti that his voyage would change his life’s story.

The retired Anniston firefighter had booked his trip months before the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake that rocked the vulnerable, impoverished nation, killing between 100,000 and 300,000 Haitians — the exact death toll is hotly debated, though most think at least 100,000 died — and displacing more than a million.

The magnitude 7 earthquake, centered about 16 miles west of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, leveled whole blocks. Buildings toppled down on those inside, trapping families and classrooms full of students, crushing hospitals and prisons.

“Buildings were laying out in the street. There were bodies still lying in the street. A lot of people hurt. A lot of makeshift hospitals set up,” Gunter said, describing the chaos in the early days after the quake.

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