The City of Warren is looking at funding options to potentially buy a new ambulance.
Fire Chief Sam Pascuzzi informed City Council on Monday night that the department submitted an application for grant funding from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The request was for $100,000 to be put toward the purchase of an ambulance to replace ambulance number two. The application includes up to a $50,000 match from the city.
Pascuzzi said that a request for the $100,000 without the use of matching funds was denied in an earlier application but noted that the department has been successful in past attempts when incorporating matching funds into the application.
"We've been fairly successful with this program," Pascuzzi said, indicating that the department has obtained over $600,000 in grants from the program, $250,000 of which was used for the purchase of a ladder truck. That application included city funding as a match.
Councilman Jim Zavinski noted that the current ambulance number two has a lot of miles on it. He asked whether it frequently needs repairs.
Pascuzzi explained that when the city purchased a new ambulance several years ago, then-ambulance number one was bumped to its current number two designation. However, Pascuzzi said that the vehicle is still responding to calls for service. The replacement of the ambulance is a focus for the department.
"That's one of our higher priorities," Pascuzzi said. "That's why we're trying to put in for it now."
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is governed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA). According to its website, the goal of the program is to "meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards."