The enormous impact UMass/Amherst usually has on our emergency response system shows up rather dramatically when the students are away for spring break. A decrease by 90% in runs to our #1 customer.
But this coming weekend, with UMass back in session and possible springlike weather, all bets for a quiet weekend like the last one are off. Way off.
However, town officials have a plan: Up to six AFD ambulances could be operational during peak party weekends throughout the month of April, the highest number in history.
AFD is putting a new ambulance into service this week as part of a normal rotation in the current fleet of five.
Plans are to keep in service the ambulance about to be decommissioned (as long as they can find all the equipment to stock it).
According to Assistant Chief Lindsay Stromgren: "The town has committed to funding overtime to staff from the current seven up to nine minimum on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from now through April 27th (five weekends). On top of that, Umass will be funding one additional ambulance (two firefighters) this coming weekend (three nights) and two additional ambulances (four firefighters) on the four weekends in April."
So with thirteen firefighters on-duty, AFD can staff six ambulances.
Let's hope these best laid schemes do not go astray: Like having a major structure fire when all six ambulances are engaged.