Amherst Fire Department's newest ambulance has just passed state licensing and goes into service later today, just in time for a trial by fire -- or I should say alcohol -- over the weekend.
Amherst has a fleet of five ambulances and on some weekend nights when UMass is in session and the weather is warm (or the Mullins Center presents a techno concert) all five are not enough.
Plans are to keep the oldest ambulance around and in service for the next six weeks as back up.
Now you know why AFD does not like to transport two patients at a time
AFD will also be getting a new pumper one year earlier than expected at Finance Director Sandy Pooler's urging due to low borrowing rates. The new $400,000 pumper will replace a 1996 model that Assistant Chief Lindsay Stromgren referred to as a "low bid vehicle" that was not especially popular with staff.
New streamlined state bidding process allows for ordering exactly the vehicle you want with custom add ons. If ordered in July the town should take possession by the winter.
AFD last purchased a pumper in 2003 and the Quint -- a combination pumper/ladder truck -- in 2009. The new pumper will become Engine 1 stationed at Central Station in town center and the "go to" truck for initial calls.
AFD Engine 2 Quint