PATERSON, NJ - Communities in the Domincan Republic will gain access to two ambulances thanks to an action by the Paterson City Council on Tuesday.

According to Paterson Fire Chief Brian McDermott the vehicles are no longer in use, and, with hundreds of thousands of miles each, have no value to local residents or the city’s treasury. While the city is bearing no cost on this donation, McDermott said, there is a major benefit to be gained simply by virtue of the fact that it will help save lives.

“We think we are struggling in Paterson,” McDermott offered “the Paterson Fire Department, and our residents, have access to the best trained personnel and equipment,” something that isn’t true for the residents of El Naranjal and El Pinar, the towns, located in the San Jose De Ocoa province of the island nation, where they will be put into use.

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Present to show their gratitude for the donated vehicles was Ingrid Bello, secretary of Pinar Unido USA, one of the organizations coordinating their delivery and future use.

While El Naranjal is closer to a city, El Pinar is a more mountainous region where the five mile trek to the nearest hospital includes travel through “rough terrain.”

“This donation is life changing,” Bello said before describing to TAPinto Paterson that currently those needing urgent medical care, including senior citizens and children, have to wait for a vehicle to become available, often finding themselves ultimately being transported in the back of a pick-up truck or on a moped.

Both Councilmen Flavio Rivera and Luis Velez, the two responsible for spearheading the effort, thanked their colleagues for approving the measure as well as McDermott for his continued commitment to serving others.

“We are taught that when we are blessed we must also give back,” Velez said. “Giving back and serving others shouldn’t be restricted by lines on a map.”


There are so many people and organizations doing great things to help build an even better Paterson!

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