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Ambulances Esther Riu: a company that is growing on the roads of Lomagne



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Established in Lomagne for more than 40 years, Ambulances Esther Riu is one of the most important vectors of employment in the Lectour area with around thirty employees.

The Esther Riu ambulances, a Lectour company that has existed for over 40 years, continue to develop. With around thirty employees for 19 vehicles, it is one of the most important sources of employment in the Lectour area. Riu ambulances specialize in medical transport, but also in traditional taxis.

The company has: 9 subsidized taxis (therefore allowing private transport to be paid for as well as medical transport covered by Social Security), 6 light medical vehicles (only for medical transport) and 4 ambulances, one of which is solely dedicated in emergencies during the prefectural guards available to the Samu.

After having held the reins for almost 30 years, Esther Riu retired and sold her company to 4 of her employees. The new managers are Thierry Altarriba, Baptiste Couayron, Sébastien Boudet and Jean-Louis Meunier, all employees of Esther Riu for many years. They have been running the business for almost 3 years.

Riu ambulance taxis have moved to 6, rue Jules-de-Sardac in Lectoure, in order to comply with current standards and improve working comfort.

The company works constantly at just-in-time

Today, the team strives to continue following in Esther Riu’s footsteps. The medical transport sector is not only a significant vector of employment, but it is also and above all a public utility service, with all the social issues of rural areas. Namely, the aging of the population, the medical desertification and by extension, the growing isolation of the elderly or without means of transport.

The paramedics and taxis are overwhelmed with demand. Since the Covid-19 crisis and its cancellations of operations and other screening and care, the backlog in hospitals has not been made up for and requests for transport, planned or urgent, are jostling a little more every day.

Riu ambulances work constantly at just-in-time, the only link enabling isolated or needy patients to reach the various increasingly distant hospitals.

The current economic context being the same for everyone, taxis and ambulances are hit hard by the various price increases, in particular the price of gasoline. For example, for the year 2022 alone, Riu ambulances saw their diesel bill explode by 50,000 euros in one year, with little help to cope with it.

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