MASSENA — A much-needed ambulance is now part of the Massena Rescue Squad’s fleet.
The squad took delivery of the customized and state-of-the-art 2022 Lifeline Superliner 167 ambulance on Tuesday.
It replaces a 2008 ambulance that spent a large amount of time in the shop for repairs. Aaron T. Hardy, the village’s liaison to the rescue squad, told trustees last June that the ambulance had been in and out of the Department of Public Works garage and other garages for maintenance issues over the past several years.
He said they were spending “thousands and thousands of dollars” on maintenance of items such as the steering column and an electronic braking system that wasn’t functioning properly.
“Obviously, it’s not safe for patients to be riding in it,” Mr. Hardy said during the June meeting. “Basically, right now it’s been dead in the water quite frequently. It comes into service for a week or two, then it’s back out of service for several weeks.”
Now, those worries are behind them with the receipt of the new ambulance. The new apparatus includes significant equipment and technology advancements that will allow for quicker, more efficient response and care for those in need of medical attention.
“This new ambulance will give us another reliable vehicle to respond to our community’s needs,” Massena Rescue Squad President Benjamin D. Miller said.
The squad had started the process of purchasing a new ambulance before management of the organization switched from the town to the village at the beginning of 2022. The village officially took over management of the Massena Rescue Squad operations on Jan. 1, 2022 with the intent and commitment to improve the community’s emergency services.
The new ambulance was purchased through a state contract. During a special meeting in July, village trustees authorized bonding for the new ambulance. They agreed to issue up to $330,000 in serial bonds toward the maximum estimated cost of $361,191. The original plan had been to issue $280,719 in serial bonds. The remaining $31,191 is coming from the rescue squad’s equipment line item in the village budget. The first payment is due in February, giving village officials time to finish paying off a bond for a previous ambulance purchase.
During a special August meeting, trustees authorized an increase in the initial payment for the purchase of a new ambulance. They voted to increase the amount of the down payment while staying within the amount in the bonding resolution. The action was necessary because of an increase in the price, stemming from the time lapse between the original price quote and when trustees took action on the bonding resolution.
Mr. Hardy and Mr. Miller said other equipment improvements could be on the way to better serve the community.
“We have and will continue to look for ways to improve not only our equipment, but our ability to serve this community,” Mr. Hardy said.
“As we continue to build our relationship with the village of Massena, I am excited to see the village’s willingness to work with us on obtaining new equipment. In addition to the ambulance, new cardiac monitors, CPR devices, and other equipment purchases have also been made,” Mr. Miller said.
“These are additional examples of the village’s commitment to improving our community’s emergency medical services,” Mr. Hardy said.
The Massena Rescue Squad continues to be one of the busiest agencies in St. Lawrence County, being dispatched to over 3,600 calls in 2022.
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