The Auburn Fire Chief says they often get thank you cards and the occasional donation, but nothing has ever been so large that it will help for years to come. A few months ago, the chief got the surprise of a lifetime when a former patient donated $500,000.
“This is the ultimate in paying it forward,” Chief Stephen Coleman said. “She’s going to still be able to provide assistance for people in a final act of kindness.”
The donor was Debbie Virgilio, who was a regular patient of Auburn first responders toward the end of her life.
With the donation, the fire department purchased a brand new, fully loaded ambulance, as well as new equipment for the department’s three other ambulances. “She was just always impressed with the level of care and compassion she received from the paramedics,” Coleman said.