TUCUMCARI, N.M. (KRQE) — The small city of Tucumcari is trying to get more ambulances. Right now, it’s operating with half as many as it needs, but they might be hitting a turning point soon.
The city of about 5,200 typically has four operating ambulances. For the last month, City Manager Paula Chacon said it’s been operating with just two. She said crashes involving ambulances are to blame. The low ambulance rate impacts residents who need transportation during emergencies.
“There’s still, they have air-vac is available through the hospital to transport, but it has limited our ability to transport patients,” said Chacon. If needed, ambulances from San Jon or Logan could also step in.
However, help is already on the way. Another city has donated an ambulance to Tucumcari. Chacon said it is getting new logos and should be up and running by next week.
“Very grateful. We’re thankful for other jurisdictions reaching out to help us,” she said. While it helps, the city is still trying to get to four ambulances. In a recent city meeting, one commissioner said a new ambulance could cost up to $300,000.
“For a community our size, that is a lot of money for us to come up with, you know, to purchase. So, we’ll be looking at other avenues on how to get a fourth ambulance,” said Chacon. She hopes to have a fourth ambulance up and running as soon as possible.