Maija McManus

WTVM: AMR donates ambulance to Safe America

Maija McManus
WTVM: AMR donates ambulance to Safe America

ATLANTA (CBS46) -

According to stats from the VA in Georgia, a little less than one third of veterans take their own lives.

It's a serious problem. The VA has several resources in place to help prevent veteran suicide. And so do non-profits. Today,  AMR Medical Transportation partnered with the Safe America Foundation to help veterans and other at risk groups get the help they need.

"To help prevent suicides and school shootings we have t start treating the mentally ill. And the people with addictions issues and the crime that it drives," said Paulette Rakestraw, District 19 Ga State Rep.

AMR donated an ambulance to Safe America, a foundation that helps veterans and other crisis victims. The ambulance will only service PTSD and homeless veterans, opioid addicts and human trafficking victims.

"We also see a lot of veterans that don't have a place to go and they need some help and they're suffering from PTSD," said Terence Ramotar, AMR Regional Director.

The ambulance will cost much less than the typical patients ride in an emergency vehicle. Safe America says they won't charge a patient any more than $100. And are even working with sponsors and donations to fully fund the rides.

"If you were an average person riding in one of these ambulance you'd be paying at the minimum $400 many times with mileage it's over 1200," said Len Pagano, Safe America, Founder.

The founder of Safe America, Len Pagano, says this ambulance along with another ambulance donated by AMR will give thousands of veterans access to whatever care they need.

"The bottom line is we're going to be looking out for them and we're talking to the VA already about how we can pick up veterans who need a ride to get some sort of treatment and we're going to let people know about this and create an online site," said Pagano.

Safe America is still working on launching the ambulance program. For information about the organization click here.

If you are a veteran or know a veteran battling mental health issues call the 24 hour veteran crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text help to 838255. 

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