Doctor duo organizes firefighter relief team
CCCLA graduates Dr. Bryen Bell '00 and his wife, Dr. Alithea Corter '02, helped organize a group of chiropractors and massage therapists for a trip to the San Bernardino base camp, where thousands of firefighters and incident-control specialists were staying as part of the effort to put outCalifornia's raging wildfires. The group, which also included Dr. Edgar Chang '02, provided chiropractic care at the camp during a four-day span in late October/early November.
Firefighters fighting the "Old Fire" called the San Bernardino base camp home for days on end. And, while they were there, they could visit the medic tent for a complimentary chiropractic adjustment and mini-massage. Many of the firefighters worked 12-hour shifts carrying 40-pound packs. They had many complaints that could be addressed immediately by the doctors and therapists.
"Being on location and helping to adjust the firefighters was absolutely exhilarating," Bell said. "The whole experience was extremely rewarding in that we were able to help them be more productive, safe and healthy. They were climbing mountains and carrying heavy equipment to battle the fires and we were able to help them increase their strength and stamina."
A lot of patience and persistence - and just a little bit of luck - tell the story of how Bell and Corter made it all happen. They first made a phone call to a local news station and just kept trying until they got a phone number for the San Bernardino base camp. There they talked to Kim, whose husband is a firefighter and was desperately in need of a chiropractic adjustment. Finally, Scott McKenney, the camp's medical director, was able to walk them through all the red tape to get on-site chiropractic approved. Then, it was just a matter of getting the word out.
"I take pride in the fact that chiropractic is one of the only health care professions that can provide immediate results to these firefighters," Corter said. "It's very gratifying."