President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lauded Montserrado County Representative Saah Joseph for his level of dedication and love exhibited for Liberia and Liberians especially during the peak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) crisis when he, though being a legislator, took upon himself to make sacrifices in an effort to save the lives of his compatriots.
President Sirleaf, in a retrospective tone, reflected on the Montserrado County lawmaker as one of the first responders on the Ebola frontline. “You were one of the first on the Ebola frontline and faced the virus when a lot of people did not know the disease well and were afraid and confused.
“You and your team braved the storm when doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers as well as our citizens were dying in their numbers; you are a true servant and hero of our country,” President Sirleaf informed Representative Joseph.
President Sirleaf made the statement when she received a 20-member team of the First Responders Emergency Medical Services Incorporated (FREMSI) of Representative Joseph at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.
FREMSI is a medical services provider established and operated by the Montserrado District #13 Representative. It was established during the heat of the Ebola crisis in Liberia and is now being considered as one of the heroes of the fight against the scourge as a result of the cardinal role it played in the fight.
Representative Joseph ran an emergency ambulance service during the Ebola crisis-being one of the first, when the international community was still asleep and not even thinking about how to intervene in the crisis to beef-up efforts to contain the virus.
The FREMSI team was led to the President’s office by the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) lawmaker himself. He had gone to inform President Sirleaf that his organization had concluded all arrangements for the deployment of a 20-member response team with three ambulances to aid the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone.
His effort is in support of the Liberian Government’s pledge to assist the people of Sierra Leone in their fight against the further spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease.
President Sirleaf lauded Representative Joseph for his commitment to help eradicate the deadly Ebola virus disease not just from Liberia, but the entire sub-region and expressed government's admiration and appreciation for the work of FREMSI.
With a huge success in Liberia’s battle against Ebola, President Sirleaf weeks ago announced plans to assist the Sierra Leonean Government in its effort to eradicate the Ebola virus.
She described the news of Liberia’s deployment in Sierra Leone by FREMSI as wonderful news that must be celebrated. She promised government’s support to the team and indicated that Liberia has already deployed a mobile testing lab to Sierra Leone and will send additional healthcare workers from the African Union team currently in Liberia.
President Sirleaf recognized Liberia’s success in the Ebola fight but warned that the country should not be complacent. “We must all continue to follow the preventative measures and other rules that have impacted our success against the deadly Ebola virus disease,” she urged.
Representative Joseph informed President Sirleaf that his team will basically facilitate the timely transport of sick persons to testing and treatment facilities in Sierra Leone and will not be involved with work activities in Ebola Treatment Units.
He pointed out that though his effort was a private and personal initiative, the team will be representing Liberia. “This is why we thought it very important to meet with you and seek your blessings before departure for Sierra Leone. FREMSI is very happy and proud to be able to help our brothers and sisters on the other side on behalf of our country and people,” Representative Joseph informed President Sirleaf.
He used the occasion to appreciate members of his team for their sacrifice and commitment to serving humanity even with risk to their personal safety and wellbeing. “You have served Liberia well and now prepared to do the same for your brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone in a show of great solidarity and I remain very proud of you all,” he declared.