First, as many of you know, the ambulance Dan purchased, which came to us by way of Detroit, bit the dust after only about three weeks of operation. We went thru a number of mechanics trying to find someone who could fix it. At La Huerta's recommendation, it was taken to a mechanic in Guadalajara. That mechanic was the biggest rip-off of the bunch, billing us for parts constantly, and adding to his labor bill for almost a year before the ambulance--and the mechanic--went missing. I'm glad that Dan never found out about this development! We called the police, they found and impounded the ambulance in Guadalajara, and the mechanic continued to bill us. Finally we found a judge in La Huerta who waived the impound fees and let us tow the wrecked ambulance home here to La Manz. We went to court with the mechanic and were able to wipe out any additional monies he claimed we owed him.
At this point, there was a lot of haggling over what the best thing to do was in regards to "the Beast" that sat in a horse corral across from my house. Should we try another mechanic? A gas engine instead of diesel? My vote, and the executive decision, was to put the remains of the Beast on Mercado Libre and sell it and start fresh. In the meantime, Francisco and his Proteccion Civil crew were doing the best they could with Francisco's personal van, which has only side doors, making loading difficult, and which continues to further deteriorate--it's old!
As of today, we have approximately $342,000.00 pesos in our ambulance bank account. We need roughly $325,000.00 pesos to buy a new/used ambulance. I am currently dealing with a company in Guadalajara, one of the largest ambulance dealers in the country. We can actually go there, look at the ambulances, have a mechanic look it over, and decide which is the best ambulance for us--none of which happened with the Beast. In addition to the funds for the ambulance itself, we need to build a basa, a secure place with safe, dry storage for the ambulance to live, which I estimate will cost approximately $100,000 pesos. We need to continue paying for the education of Panchito, our EMT, which costs roughly $12,000 to $16,000 pesos per semester, with 4 semesters to go, for a cost of roughly $50,000 pesos. We also need to restock all the equipment for the ambulance.
So here comes the pitch: We can't ever get this project completed without some healthy donations. I have personally taken $10,000 US out of my retirement account and donated it to the fund. I have a $1000 Canadian and a $500 US donation pledged. I'm asking for your help in getting this project finally completed. We could have that ambulance purchased and here possibly by the end of January. I know you've all been asked to donate before, and many of you have donated, but we need some serious donations now to make our community safer and provide emergency medical services.
I'm going to try to post a photo of the ambulance we are considering. It's real. With your help, this can happen!
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