A fire in the early hours of Saturday morning destroyed 8 of the 10 ambulances operated by the Canary Emergency Service ( SUC ) from its base in Telde.  Used for the non-urgent transfer of patients from the municipalities of Ingenio and Valsequillo to health centres and hospitals, the service was severely affected this Monday with delays, although efforts have been made to alleviate the loss of 80% of the fleet used for non-urgent sanitary transfer.

The fire started according to all indications about three o’clock in the morning with firemen from the main Telde fire station, located in La Garita , assisted by firefighters from Arinaga, who had to use 24,000 litres of water and another 80l of foam to extinguish the flames, which at times were very high. In fact, a van from the Department of Animal Protection, which was parked next to the boundary wall between the street and the bus station, was also affected, when the flames burned part of one of its doors. No other vehicles were affected

The fire was controlled by 5.40 am and extinguished by 7.30 am, after work from Telde and Arinaga firefighters to prevent it from spreading to the two remaining ambulances, also stationed next to the eight that were destroyed. The balance is devastating, 80% of the fleet.

The vehicles, parked outside the bus station, represent economic losses close to €360,000, given that each ambulance costs about €45,000 , according to inside sources who pointed out that this act of vandalism also slows down “the hiring planned for this service and affects the workers”.

National Police are investigating what happened. From social networks, some Internet users have expressed their outrage at the even.

Orlando Santana, manager of Canarian Aeromedical, concessionaire of the SUC , suspects that it has been intentional because “there is premeditation, nocturnality and treachery”, as the fire started at 0300 in the morning, he believes that the lack of passersby on the street provided opportunity for the malicious destruction of the vehicles which he fears will have serious affects for patients even of other municipalities. “These are patients who receive radiotherapy, dialysis, chemotherapy, rehabilitation and consultation, but on Monday, although we have reorganised the service, there will be delays in leaving hospitals.”

Source: La Provincia