First aid squad seeks new wheels

WANTAGE. These first responders haven’t gotten an ambulance upgrade in 12 years.

| 25 Aug 2022 | 03:11

The Wantage First Aid Squad needs a new ambulance; the organization approached the Township Committee on August 18 to start the process of getting a new one.

The squad is going to work with township administration to produce an estimate of how much a new ambulance would cost. Early estimates place the range of about $200,000 to $300,000.

Bill DeBoer, president of the Wantage First Aid Squad, said the organization’s newest ambulance is 12 years old, and it has an even older ambulance that the squad was supposed to get rid of when it received the new ambulance 12 years ago. Unable to get anything for the ambulance, he decided to keep it.

At that time – 2010 – the squad had four ambulances, but now they’re down to two because the old ambulance has a severe oil leak.

“It’s been sitting in our bays pretty much now and we haven’t been able to use it because of this,” DeBoer said.

Township Mayor Ron Bassani said the squad’s timing was good because the township has federal money coming in – about $1.2 million – that could be used to replace an ambulance.

“We expected this to happen at some point in time,” Bassani said. “We do appreciate the fact that you always did push back on your fellow EMS people and not worrying about new vehicles. But we’ll take a look at it. We know it’s a valid request.”