Massena Rescue Squad anticipating new ambulance by end of January, beginning of February

Dec. 28—MASSENA — A new ambulance that was ordered before the village of Massena took over ownership of the Massena Rescue Squad could soon be in the squad's hands.

Massena Volunteer Fire Department Foreman Aaron T. Hardy, the village's liaison to the Massena Rescue Squad, told trustees they hope to have the ambulance on site by late January or early February. He said the vehicle was expected to come off the line just before Christmas, and then would be outfitted for delivery.

"We're hoping to see it delivered sometime at the end of January or the very beginning of February," Mr. Hardy said.

He told trustees in June that the squad had started the process of purchasing a new vehicle before management of the organization switched over to the village at the beginning of the year.

He said they were looking to replace a 2008 ambulance that he said 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 in June. "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."

The new ambulance is being 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.

During the board's meeting this month, Mr. Hardy said new monitors have also been received and rescue squad members will soon receive training on their use. New CPR devices were received back in November and will now be used with the delivery of monitors.

"We now have all of our equipment, so we're hoping to get everyone trained on them soon and in service," he said.