Firefighters, RTA rescue couple when wheelchair batteries die

A pair of Vandalia nursing home residents were stranded Thursday night after the the cold weather stopped their wheelchairs from working on the way home from the grocery store.

A local man placed a 911 call and firefighters were dispatched, who say their first priority was to keep the couple warm.

“The medic crew used every blanket in the truck,” Vandalia Chief Chad Follick said.

Firefighters tried unsuccessfully to charge the wheelchair batteries, but then RTA “saved the day,” as Follick put it.

RTA officials sent a handicap-accessible van to get the couple home, and say their drivers make about 700 trips a day for riders with challenges.

“I don’t know what we would have done had they not shown up,” Follick said.

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