Nelson Cruz to make donation of fire truck and ambulances in Dominican Republic

Arlington, Texas - Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz is making a significant donation towards the purchase a fire truck for the city of Las Matas Santa Cruz in the Dominican Republic. In addition, two ambulances donated by American Medical Response will also be given to Las Matas Santa Cruz, which is located near Cruz' hometown of Montecristy, DR.

The vehicles will be presented during a ceremony prior to the Rangers game on Wednesday with the Oakland A's at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The project was initiated by Cruz several months ago, when the Rangers outfielder met with officials from Las Matas Santa Cruz, including its Fire Chief Luis Esmurdoc. Cruz then enlisted the assistance of the Arlington Fire Department to help acquire the first responder vehicles.

"I am always seeking ways to give back to the community in which I was raised. I wanted to find a way to use my resources to help a lot of people for many years to come, and this donation does that," commented Cruz. "When we first had this idea the Arlington Fire Department fully embraced it and through a lot of hard work turned it into a reality. I am very appreciative of all the help I have received to complete the project. I think my community will be very grateful knowing all the people who are helping to make their lives better.

Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson and other city fire officials worked with American Medical Response on the donation of two ambulances. Additionally, Billy Claunch of Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus was contacted to assist with the purchase of a fire truck.  In addition to Cruz' $20,000.00 donation, the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation made a $9,300 contribution to assist towards the completion of this project.
"Nelson expressed a passionate concern for his hometown community. His desire to help others, resonated with the Arlington Fire Department team in such a way, that Department immediately came together with other public safety partners to help Nelson meet his goal of improving Fire and EMS response capabilities in his hometown community," commented Chief Crowson. "We admire Nelson's commitment to his community, and we're honored to help our fellow firefighters and EMS responders in the Dominican Republic."

The fire truck was repainted by Arlington's Wreck Truck Repair and outfitted with equipment donated by the Arlington Fire Department and Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus. The two ambulances were also repainted and outfitted with safety equipment. Donations by American Emergency Vehicles, Optima, Physio Control, and Stryker totaling $4,500 will assist with costs for the vehicles travel to Cruz's hometown. Cruz plans to pay the remaining costs for transport.

During Wednesday's pre-game ceremony Chief Crowson and members of the Arlington Fire Department will present Cruz and Esmurdoc with a large key symbolizing the donated fire truck. Edward Van Horn of American Medical Response will present the keys for the ambulances his group donated. Also in attendance will be members from Physio Control and Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus.