Oakridge Pays It Forward

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OAKRIDGE, Ore. — The City of Oakridge is paying it forward. You may recall the show “Secret Millionaire” came to town and surprised the city with a number of different donations.

One of those donations included money for the Oakridge Fire Department which allowed it to buy a new fire truck. That meant their old one could be sold.

Thursday the Oakridge City Council surprised an Oregon Doctor with this comment,

“Mr. Mayor I would like to make a motion that we reject this $1,500 bid for the ambulance and instead donate the 1988 E-50 ambulance to Dr. Ellen Heinitz.”

Dr. Ellen Heinitz and her husband John are both from Grants Pass. Dr. Heinitz saw the Oakridge Fire Department’s advertisement on Craig’s List for the sale of an old ambulance.

The couple bid on the item and were told they could have it for $1,500. They showed up to get that bid at the same time telling the citizens about the dire situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There is no 911 infrastructure and the medical situation is nothing compared to what we have in the states.

Ultimately the council voted to gift it to them, so the couple could ship it to a doctor in the Congo.

” We are happy not for us but for the people in Lubumbashi that are going to benefit from this,” said John.

” We are just really really grateful and I am just so excited for them I wish this could be going on in Lubumbashi and everyone could see the smiles on their faces and the hope that this is going to bring to them,” said Dr. Ellen Heinitz.

“It is just an amazing feeling,” said Interim Fire Chief Tim Whittaker.

“It has been a full circle I guess and we just felt really strongly to pay it forward even though it wasn’t to the same level. We just wanted to pay it forward and make a difference,” added Whittaker

The Oakridge Fire Department also collected supplies from other fire departments and medical clinics and filled the ambulance with those that will also ship to the Congo.

City of Oakridge

A New Ambulance For DRC

Info on the Dr. from the Congo


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