Considered as one of the dedicated employees of the Government of Dubai under the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS), Geoffrey Panganiban has proven that Filipinos have the power to make this world a better and safe place to live in.
He joined DCAS in February 2008 and was, of course, assigned to be First Aid Nurse. Since then, he has been regularly responding to both trauma and medical cases in pre-hospital care with the end thought of providing basic life support, conserving life and alleviating suffering.
It is no small task especially if he is called to render emergency medical care to adults, children and even infants based on assessment findings. It takes courage for one to accomplish this difficult job.
But with Geoffrey’s confidence, he was able to surmount the difficulties that he encounters with this job especially in his areas of specialization – emergency room, ambulance operation, community health, primary health care, pre hospital care system, emergency medical services and disaster management, to mention a few. After all, according to him, it is his sworn duty to save life.
He has been very active in communities especially with regards to volunteerism, humanitarian missions, community health and primary health care program management. His achievements did not go unnoticed. Several Philippine dailies released stories about him and his colleagues in Dubai.
In the Philippines, Geoffrey has worked as ER Nurse, part-time teacher, school nurse and nursery aide. His last stint prior to his decision to go abroad was as Trauma Nurse cum Project Development Assistant at the Local Government Unit of Abra de Ilog. In his home province of Occidental Mindoro, he was involved in large scale health projects such as the Global Fund Malaria Component, the Health and Community Development for Indigenous Peoples with support from Spanish Red Cross, and the Low Income Upland Communities Project.
He studied at San Rafael High School and earned his degree in nursing at the United Doctors Medical Center and Colleges in 1995. For Geoffrey’s small family, leadership is a commitment. His father, Manuel, is a public servant who now chairs the Municipal Senior Citizen Council after serving two terms as member of the town’s legislative body. His mom, Vilma runs a bakery business for more than three decades. His only brother Emmanuel is an OFW leader in Saudi Arabia.
And while regular duty eats most of his time, in his mind still lingers the thought of raising environmental concerns and serving on humanitarian missions – the very reason why he opted to be active in the affairs of the UAE Red Crescent. In fact, only two Filipinos including Geoffrey was included in the volunteer pool in Red Crescent’s Dubai branch and so he campaigns for other volunteers to join but they need to be strictly screened and should maintain number of hours.
Geoffrey spearheaded a project which has now become a traditional practice among Filipino nurse medics – a medical mission in POLO OWWA shelter in Dubai. “I encouraged and asked support from my fellow nurses to conduct several medical consultations, stress management activities and salo-salo, a Tagalog term for eating with distressed OFW.” At first, it was made during his first birthday celebration in Dubai and then, became almost a traditional birthday activity for other fellow nurse medic.
He believes that success is a state of mind … of being happy. For him, success is “doing things whether big or small for as long as I’m happy and contented.”
o0o —————– o0o
THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.