By Leila Merrill
PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida – A free ambulance service was about to shut down when it got a lifeline, WFLX reported.
The Port St. Lucie Volunteer Ambulance secured a new donor on Monday who will help the organization continue its operations for months to come.
The service transports elective patients to hospitals and other medical appointments free of charge. He survived on donations for decades until the pandemic undermined some of the service’s funding sources, said Chief Tina Vazquez. Gasoline prices also had an impact on the results of the service.
The end could have come this month.
But then Scott Van Duzer, owner of Big Apple Pizza in Fort Pierce, Fla., Found out about the struggle and he got in touch with a friend.
Tony DiFrancesco, owner of Tri-County Enterprises, met with Chef Vazquez and his team on Monday. DiFrancesco wrote a check for $ 5,000 and said he would continue to support the service until more donations started to arrive.
“We’re going to see what we can do to bring them more donations,” said DiFrancesco. “I had to take my mother from St. Lucia Medical Center to her house, so this sort of thing hit the house.”
The donation helps the service help patients immediately, Vazquez said.