Local Rotarians send another ambulance to Mexico

President Dan Carter of the Scottsbluff/Gering Rotary Club announced today, that another ambulance and "jaws of life" is being shipped, by Americo Carriers, to their sister Rotary club in Fortin, Veracruz, Mexico. The actual recipient of the ambulance will be the city of Tuxtepec, Mexico, in the state of Oaxaca.

Tuxtepec is a city of 300,000 inhabitants and does not have a single ambulance or personnel extractor to serve it or the 25,000 people in the 5 surrounding communities. The local Red Cross of Tuxtepec will conduct the training of the ambulance and extractor teams, and will be responsible for the maintenance and service of the equipment.

Georgina Alonzo of the Fortin Rotary Club and Carlos Vidal of the Tuxtepec-Papaloapan Rotary Club had identified the need for this emergency equipment. They raised part of the funds for the project, and contacted the Scottsbluff/Gering Rotary Club to find an ambulance and extrator and to raise the rest of the needed funding.

A used 1993 Ford ambulance was acquired from the City of Crawford, and was completely reconditioned by Floyd's Truck Center in Scottsbluff. The Crawford and other area fire departments filled the ambulance with 30 sets of fire safety equipment, including helmets, boots, coats and pants. A new "jaws of life" was purchased, and loaded into the ambulance, as well. Carter said "We're even sending a used electric dental chair".

"The cost for the equipment and transport is about $11,000, said Joe Schon, Rotary Club committee chairman. "But the volunteer time and effort to pull this together, both here and in Mexico, far exceed that out-of-pocket cost." "It takes a village and a few clubs to make it happen."

President Dan Carter summarized the project with the Fortin sister club: "This is the third ambulance we've shipped to the Fortin Rotary District, as well as a fire truck, another personnel extractor and many more sets of protective clothing. We have heard several stories about the lives that have been saved by the extractor and emergency equipment. This is what the Rotary organization is all about. It makes you Rotary proud."

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