Volunteer ambulance service in danger of closure after 42 years

Tina Vazquez is Chief of the Volunteer Ambulance Service at Port St. Lucie. She and 15 volunteers, including paramedics, take patients to hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other medical appointments they can’t get to without help – and it’s free. service, ”Vazquez said. “I got a call the other day a lady was in distress she said ‘I’m having knee surgery and I don’t know what to do I have no one to take me and I have to be in Port St . Lucie, I don’t know what to do. ‘”While Vazquez said she was going to do whatever she can to get this woman to her operation, the ambulance has not been on duty for almost two years. months because the nonprofit service is strapped for cash. For 42 years, they have relied on donations, but since the pandemic, they have dried up. “January has arrived, no donations, February has arrived, no donations,” said Vazquez. They limped along, holding a boot and asking for help on social media. I think maybe close at the end of October – for good, ”Vazquez said. It is moving for Vazquez and for his volunteers like Jasmyne Santos. “The patients need us, the patients need us,” Santos said, bursting into tears. Vazquez said it costs around $ 100,000 to run the service and they transport an average of 60 patients per month, some of them elderly, some veterans, all in need. say goodbye and we’ve been here for 42 years, established in 1979 by a group of volunteers, ”said Vazquez. -335-5433.

Tina Vazquez is Chief of the Volunteer Ambulance Service at Port St. Lucie. She and 15 volunteers, including paramedics, take patients to hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other medical appointments they can’t get to without help – and it’s free.

“Some of my patients have to go to wound care three times a week, which is an expensive service,” Vazquez said. “I got a call the other day a lady was in distress she said ‘I’m having knee surgery and I don’t know what to do I have no one to take me and I have to be in Port St . Lucie, I don’t know what to do. ‘”

While Vazquez has said she will do whatever she can to get this woman to her operation, the ambulance has not been in service for almost two months as the nonprofit service is strapped for cash. .

For 42 years, they have relied on donations, but since the pandemic, they have dried up.

“January has arrived, no donations, February has arrived, no donations,” said Vazquez.

They limped along, holding a boot behind the wheel and asking for help on social media.

“We have been resourceful, but now these resources are exhausted and I am considering possibly closing in late October – for good,” Vazquez said.

It is moving for Vazquez and for his volunteers like Jasmyne Santos.

“The patients need us, the patients need us,” Santos said, bursting into tears.

Vazquez said it costs around $ 100,000 to run the service and they transport an average of 60 patients per month, some of them elderly, others veterans, all in need.

“We’re going to close and we’re going to have to say goodbye and we’ve been here for 42 years, created in 1979 by a group of volunteers,” Vazquez said.

She said it was one of only two free volunteer ambulance services left in Florida.

If you would like to help, call 772-335-5433.


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