Fire Department medics help visually impaired man buy groceries, pay bills

The San Francisco Fire Department shared a feel-good story about medics helping a community member in need on social media this week.

The trio of do-gooders — paramedic Andre Velasquez, paramedic Nelson Avelar and emergency medical services Captain April Bassett — responded Thursday to check on a visually impaired man who had not been heard from in a while, according to the San Francisco Fire Department.

When they arrived at his home, they learned he’d been having trouble getting groceries, paying his phone bill and doing other necessary activities, SFFD said in a statement.

“The responding crews contacted local and state social services to get him some assistance, which is standard,” the statement said.

But then they went a step further, helping him to pay his phone bill so he could communicate with loved ones, driving him to a nearby grocery store and assisting him with buying groceries, and double-checking that he had someone who would keep an eye on him while social services worked to get him more consistent care, the statement said.

“Good to know that there are good people still,” one commenter wrote on Facebook. “This hits closer to home then you think. I have a son who is visually impaired and it is good to know that there are people that still look out and care.”

Filipa Ioannou is an SFGATE staff writer. Email her at and follow her on Twitter

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