Thursday, January 8, 2009

Who ya gonna call?


So apparently one of our newer (if not newest) ambulances, a six-figure budget item, was involved in a serious accident about three weeks ago. I guess that is the downside of the emergency response business in that you are always in a BIG hurry to get to the Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

Apparently the rig was totaled. Fortunately the crew was okay and--Thank God--we are insured. A new rig should arrive in a couple of months. Meanwhile an overly stretched Fire Department will make due.

You would think somebody would have mentioned this a tad earlier than this past Monday night Select Board meeting where Town Manager Larry Shaffer disclosed the bad news. Hey, he has a blog, or there is always that old fashioned thing called a press release.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of these days an ambulance rushing to take a heart attack victim to Cooley Dick down rte 9 is going to get into a serious accident...wait, that already happened!

Geez, town of amherst, what's the deal? Maybe you shouldn't be using Rte 9 to go to Noho and take the back roads like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

That actually wasn't the case.. it was returning from the hospital, non-emergency, driving just like everyone else does. Thats why they call them accidents..
Back roads.. thers a great idea... lets take a little bit longer to get there, with poor road conditions while the paramedic is trying to do life-saving techiniques bouncing around in the back of the ambulance trying to put a needle in your arm... your look like pin cushion by the time you get there... Whats the stats Larry? about 3000 ambulance calls a year... thats a lot of trips to the hospital with very few accidents.. not a bad track record if you ask me..

Anonymous said...

You're missing the point. Isn't the issue that the Town Officials are not transparent in their dealing with OUR money? Stay with it Larry, God Bless You.

Anonymous said...

"Thats why they call them accidents.."

Funny that the tragic school bus incident often discussed in this comment section can't be considered in the same light. But I guess in some people's eyes the schools can do no right while public safety personnel can do no wrong.

LarryK4 said...

Whatever the story is, it should have been put out there three weeks ago.

As most people know I'm a big fan of public safety. But an even bigger fan of transparency in all things government.

Anonymous said...

Im not looking to go back and forth here.. but...
Regarding the school bus incident..

IT WAS 100% WITHOUT A DOUBT ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING BUT A TRAGIC, TRAGIC ACCIDENT, no dispute on my part whatsoever, I dont see any fault at all on anyone's part on that. Terrible.


I agree Larry, this town needs to be more open with what goes on, both with crime, and general goverment issues, I have a good friend who works for the town.. and this is a lot more than a sleepy college town...

Great Site Larry... keeps everyone's mind sharp!!

Anonymous said...

It was actually mentioned in my blog comment more than a week ago here. The town already had a new one on order so, while new one will be here in a couple of months, that one was to replace a 12 year old ambulance. They will need to order another one to replace this one.

Anonymous said...

Is this or is this not a motor vehicle? And is it or is it not the policy of the Police Dept to release information (including names of operators/owners) about *all* MVAs which occur?

So, a competent news media would have noticed that "Town of Amherst" was the registered owner of a vehicle totaled in an accident in either Amherst, Hadley or 'Hamp and seeing the six figure loss, ought to have considered that newsworthy enough for at least a phone call to someone...

And this is not the first ambulance that has been totaled. There was another a few years back totaled in a collision with a "4 guys and a truck" truck out at the traffic light on Rocky Hill Road.

Apparently the ambulance was running a red light in the torrential downpour of a summer thunderstorm and the 4-guy truck was coming north on the road by Home Depot and that *is* a blind intersection (why the traffic light is there).

Yes, EMS can run red lights, but the law is clear -- you must presume that the person who has the right of way doesn't see you. Something quite likely in a downpour...

So this is the second totaled ambulance in a few years. Someone need to retake driver ed???

Anonymous said...

It probably has more to do with being understaffed and overworked. Just a hunch.

Anonymous said...

To the morn poster writing about drver training. Get a life. Do you have nay idea what is like responding to and transporting critcially ill patients where every minute counts? Yeah, just as I thought. Think about that the next time you think it is not that important to pull over to the side and come to a complete stop, as an emergency vehicle with its lights on approaches.

Anonymous said...

The "moron" is a former member of a VOLUNTEER (as in NOT PAID) Fire Department and actually happens to know a bit about this.

Said person also remembers concerns about the then-new Federal Commercial Operator law and the requirement about 10 hours/day and 60 hours/week - and if that applied to us. Thought wasn't because we were volunteer.

Remember that both the Fire Trucks and most of the Ambulances are over 29K GVW and thus considered Commercial vehicles under Federal law even if (if I remember correctly) a Class B isn't required for a firefighter to drive it. And this would get really interesting should - heaven forbid - the next AFD accident involve personal injury -- possibly to an out-of-state UM student.

And the moron might also remind you that a BFD LT died yesterday, not in a fire, but in a wreck... Sounds to me that someone either (a) didn't properly adjust the air brakes or (b) didn't drain the air tanks frequently to get the water out and/or keep the antifreeze chemical drier tank full.

I understand that the AFD has a union. If the working conditions are unsafe because of too many hours (or whatever) then the union ought to be raising this -- being shortstaffed or tired is NOT an excuse for MVAs....

Anonymous said...

" understand that the AFD has a union. If the working conditions are unsafe because of too many hours (or whatever) then the union ought to be raising this -- being shortstaffed or tired is NOT an excuse for MVAs...."

No one made that excuse. It's just part of the idle speculation on this gossipy blog.

I've got an idea, why doesn't someone ask the fire department what happened?

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Their union has been raising the issue of staffing and Shaffer ignores it.

Anonymous said...

The ambulance was not a total loss. It is being repaired.

As for the rest of the bickering, keep it up. You sound like fools.