Firefighters' volunteer group aids woman barely getting by

By Chuck Weber - bio | email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A woman, who used to live on the streets, is receiving help from firefighters with Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue and the department's volunteer Community Assistance Team.

Even though Loretta Blausey now has a home, she's barely getting by. Recently, when firefighters responded to a medical call at Blausey's apartment near West Palm Beach, they noticed she had no food, water or electricity.

So the medics called in the Assistance Team.

"When we saw that she had nothing to eat or drink, we went to the store," recalled Assistance Team volunteer Elaine Brown. "We bought her groceries."

Since then, Brown and other Assistance Team volunteers, and firefighters themselves, have pitched in to buy Blausey groceries. The 75-year-old woman's electricity is now on, and the volunteers have also placed calls to social service agencies on her behalf.

Also important, the volunteers and firefighters have also stopped to check on Blausey.

"I appreciate everything they've done for me, and then some," said Blausey, who must survive on a $650 montly Social Security check.

"Now that I'm alone, I never found it so hard in my life to live on this earth," added Blausey, breaking into tears. "I would like to find somebody to be companions. It's too hard for a woman alone."

"We are going to make sure that she does not starve, that she absolutely does have food," promised Assistance Team volunteer Brown. She also said her group would keep pressure on the various agencies to get Blausey more help.

Brown has volunteered with the Community Assistance Team for almost five years. The team regularly assists victims of emergencies, handled by Fire-Rescue. "I feel good about helping people that need us," said Brown.

Volunteer Stanley Feist, a retired college psychology professor, added, "While it's not always fun work, it's work that I get gratification from, because it's helping a lot of people."

To assist Loretta Blausey, or volunteer with the Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Community Assistance Team, call 561-616-7062.