The Bucks County Rescue Squad has a new ambulance in its arsenal to save lives. It comes thanks to a grant from the Bucks County Redevelopment Authority.
On call 24/7, the Bucks County Rescue Squad serves Bristol Borough and Bristol Township.
The squad’s new vehicle replaces an ambulance from 2009 with more than 100,000 miles, according to BCRS Chief Marty Liczbinski. He said the squad relies on big grants like the $133,000 grant they received from the Bucks RDA for capital purchases.
“We try to budget a new ambulance for every five to six years,” said Liczbinski. “This ambulance is brand new, but it will see 100,000 miles before it gets replaced.”
While the RDA grant covers most of the cost of the $143,000 vehicle, the equipment inside an ambulance is just as expensive. A heat monitor is $32,000, the stretcher is almost $12,000, and all of it combined is about another $140,000. The net total is around $300,000.
To cover the rest of the price tag, the BCRS used the trade-in value of the old vehicle.
“We were able to purchase this without that financial hit on the rescue squad’s funds because of this grant. That’s what keeps us going, the grants like this. So it’s great, I think it’s a gorgeous truck.”
Local officials unveiled the ambulance at a dedication ceremony Thursday. President of Bristol Borough Council and of the Bucks County Rescue Squad Ralph DiGuiseppe opened the conference.
“A lot of this happens because of the leadership we have in our state Senator Tommy Tomlinson,” said DiGuiseppe.
Tomlinson introduced gaming legislation in 2008 to create the Municipal Grant Program. It uses funds generated at Parx Casino to provide grants to municipalities contiguous to Bensalem.
Then more recently in 2017, Tomlinson sponsored an amendment expanding the MCP. Now, it includes more communities in Lower Bucks like Bristol Borough.
Each year, the Bucks County Redevelopment Authority manages applications for grants from the MCP. In 2019, it doled out $3.9 million in awards to local municipalities.
DiGuisseppe, who was recently appointed to the BCRDA Board of Directors, introduced Executive Director Jeff Darwak.
“We certainly appreciate the invitation to be here and opportunity to be recognized for the award of the ambulance,” said Darwak. “It’s not everyday or every year that we get recognized for the hard choices the board has to make in granting out these awards.”
He also thanked the Bucks County Rescue Squad for the work they do for community.
Senator Tomlinson spoke as well. He recognized the leadership at the Bucks County Rescue Squad, Bristol Township, and Bristol Borough.
“I remember standing here 20 years ago before this building was here after the fire we had experienced in the borough down on Route 413,” said Tomlinson. “Then Representative Corey and I got a grant to get this building started, so I’m really pleased to stand here and recognize these communities around here with such great leadership.”