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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – Local lawmakers are requesting additional information before okaying the purchase of a second ambulance for the City of Jamestown Fire Department.
The vehicle itself costs $150,000 dollars, with an additional $100,000 in needed equipment.The final purchase would be a similar build to the city’s current ambulance.
“Our intent would be that whichever vendor we ultimately receive a bid from or whichever the bid is awarded to, we would request that they would install that load system as part of the package,” explained Jamestown Fire Chief Matt Coon. “The extrication device, the stair chair, that’s a separate piece also. Currently Jamestown Fire Department has one, and it’s in the ambulance, and it is a required piece. In order to safely extricate people down stairwells. We’ll certainly need a fire radio, a med radio, and have a portable radio be available for that vehicle, so there’s some costs that could be expected there.
Jamestown Fire Chief Matthew Coon goes on to say the second ambulance is necessary, to keep up with the ever growing need for EMT services.
“These are the calls over the last few years that we had to rely on our neighbors to answer for us,” stated Chief Coon. “So this is the overflow, and as you can see it has been increasing steadily since 2019. I’ve got no reason to believe that that number will not exceed 500 by the time we get to the end of this year.”
While there is not always a Jamestown ambulance available, crews are expected to still be on scene.
“Even if a mutual aid agency is coming in, a piece of Jamestown equipment should be going to that call also,“ explained Chief Coon. “So, our own providers are there to do first response just like we do with ALSTAR.”
In addition to the second ambulance, lawmakers also looked at a proposal to add eight new firefighters to the roster, which would ultimately operate the new vehicle. While the increase in personnel would help, the chief says it is not necessarily connected.
“Having the additional personnel is certainly going to make this process go much smoother,“ stated Chief Coon. “As well as not reducing down the firefighting force that we have available.”
Both proposals were passed through public safety, but not through the finance committee as members wanted more information on the costs of operating an ambulance compared to the revenue it brings in.
If the council does approve the purchase of a second ambulance this month, the Fire Chief believes it could be deployed in as soon as two months.
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