Ambulance Handover - 18th January 2014

                 Ambulance Handover

IMG_1296.JPGChristmas came 3 weeks late for the Sao Bras Bombeiros. On Saturday 18th of January, Estoi Palace
Rotary Club was delighted to officially handover a brand new, fully equipped ambulance to the Bombeiros.
  This project had just taken over a year to complete which was an amazing result.

The Bombeiros of São Brás, a group of well-trained volunteers, have been providing fire and emergency services to this rural area of 150,000 square meters and a population of 15,000, with the bare minimum of equipment for a number of years. Much of their equipment is outdated and badly in need of replacement, so in the summer of 2013 they initiated a fund raising campaign in the hopes of raising enough money to purchase a new ambulance.  When the Rotary Club Estoi Palace International heard about the Bombeiros efforts, they approached them about the possibility of making that dream a reality and raise the 61.925 euros required.  

IMG_1300.JPGWith the invaluable assistance of Rotary Coordinator, Chris Garner, Rotary Estoi Palace International contacted other Rotary Clubs and Districts to establish a plan using a Rotary Foundation competitive grant scheme to raise the necessary funds.

While we awaited approval of this grant, Rotary Club Estoi Palace International held a very successful golf fundraiser at the Monte Rei Golf and Country Club in Vila Nova de Cacela in Portugal’s beautiful Algarve, the proceeds of which were put towards the ambulance fund.

 Later in the summer the competitive grant was approved by Rotary Foundation headquarters in Chicago. Further assistance was offered by Rotary clubs and Rotary districts in Texas and Brazil.  The Bombeiros contributed 4000 euros from their fund of which 2600 euros had been raised by the local Angels Theatre
Group and by late summer the final goal was reached!  With the funding in place the ambulance was ordered. 


Fireman Alex Correia drove the ambulance into the Sao Bras fire station with the klaxon blaring and the 90 plus people there rose to their feet applauding this wonderful achievement.  The ambulance is designed to go out on major emergencies as it is equipped with life saving apparatus, and also to transport seriously ill people from home to hospitals and, hopefully, with the equipment on board give them a greater chance of survival. President Shirley Dunne officially handed the keys over to President Flavio Martins. Vitor Guerreiro, Mayor of Sao Bras, gave a speech about the importance of  the community working together,  and Commandante Vitor Martins expressed his thanks to Estoi Rotary Club and the community for such a tremendous achievement.