Brian Hamacher

Broward Sheriff's Fire Rescue Helps Woman in Broken-Down Wheelchair

A woman whose wheelchair broke down on the side of a Lauderdale Lakes road got a helping hand from some Broward firefighters.

Jennifer Bastidas was stuck far from home in her broken down motorized wheelchair when Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue workers stepped in to assist.

She had just gotten off a bus, the weather was awful, and she figured 911 was her best and only option.

"I mean, you can only imagine when your car breaks down on the side of the road, how you feel, imagine yourself in a wheelchair in the rain in the elements broken down on the side of the road," BSO Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said.

Bastidas was on 441 in Lauderdale Lakes on her way to check out an apartment. The battery on Her chair was full but something went wrong and she found herself stuck on a very busy roadway.

Enter firefighters from Station 37, who received the 911 dispatch and responded in minutes. Jimmy Winkle, a 12-year veteran of the department, volunteered to do the pushing.

"I felt kind of bad because I know I am kind of heavy with the wheelchair and stuff, it makes it hard to push, but he was very nice about it," Bastidas said.

From 441 down the street, they took a left hand turn about a half a mile, right into the station.

"Firefighters did what firefighters do and that is come up with a solution to any kind of problem," Jachles said.

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