Rescue 3 Ambulance


Rescue 3 was donated to Portal Rescue by Phelps Dodge. It was our primary rescue vehicle until the purchase of Rescue 4 which is a rough terrain four wheel drive vehicle.

After rescue 4 began operations, Rescue 3 continued to be maintained and kept stocked but it rarely left the ambulance bay on a call. The Rescue 3 with its low road clearance has to be kept on paved roads and was rarely driven. Rescue 3 was aging and the costs of maintaining two rescue vehicles was pressing on the Portal Recue budget.

Early in 2018 the Portal Rescue Board decided to retire Rescue 3. At first we looked for a buyer but any offered price was ridiculously low. Rescue 3 had value to someone, but who? Then the Board learned that the community of Puerto Palomas, Chihuahua, Mexico was in need of an ambulance to support the area of Ascension, which included Puerto Palomas.

To make a long story short, the area of Ascension has a population of over six thousand people. This area is supported by five EMTs, a First Responder/Driver and one aging ambulance. These EMTs respond to one or more calls a day! The only two available hospitals are over two hours away. This means the ambulance is away over four hours taking a patient to a hospital. If another call comes in the only transport is a private vehicle with no advanced patient care equipment. Now Rescue 3 had a job. It took a while but finally arrangements were completed with American and Mexican Customs for the transfer of the vehicle.

Obviously, Rescue 3, has a new job where it will be driven often. On Thursday, May 23, Rescue 3 departed Portal and was driven to Puerto Palomas by two of our EMTs. Arrival at the border was the fastest trip through the checkpoint ever seen. Within two minutes Rescue 3 was in Mexico and received by some very appreciative EMTs.

Jackie and Carolyn with the Puerto Palomas EMTs at the Pink Store

Howard Topoff 2011