Champlain EMS to receive $104K for new ambulance

CHAMPLAIN Champlain EMS Inc. is one of the most recent recipients of a portion of $3.8 million in funding from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The ambulance squad will receive $104,500 from the seventh round of state grants to fire and emergency service departments throughout the country.

Squad captain Kenneth LaPlante said the money will provide much needed replacement of one of Champlains emergency vehicles, which currently has well more than 100,000 miles on its odometer.

We went for nine months thinking we werent going to get this grant and then we found out we did. We were excited, said Mr. LaPlante. Essentially, were saving the taxpayers $104,000.

Mr. LaPlante credited the department being awarded the grant to emergency medical technician Chris Trembley, who wrote the grant application for the department. Mr. Trembley, he said, has had success in writing grants for communities such as Rouses Point, Morrisonville and Mooers, leading the department to seek his services.

It feels good in the sense that its not a reward for one agency, but something that will benefit two towns, said Mr. Trembley. Its very gratifying to know something good can come out of losing volunteers and people having to combine and share services.

Five years ago, said Mr. LaPlante, Champlain EMS Inc. was formed from the Champlain Fire District, most recently collaborating with the Town of Mooers to provide ambulance coverage to meet the ongoing problem of dwindling EMS providers. With the creation of Mooers EMS LLC, under the squads direction, Champlain EMS has been able to provide coverage to the Chazy Fire District during daytime hours and other locations previously in need of coverage.

This funding will go a long way in supporting the first responders in Clinton County said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer in a recent statement. Our nations firefighters are truly Americas heroes. Whether fighting a building fire or responding to a terrorist attack, it is essential that we help them to do their jobs safely and efficiently. One of the key ways to do this is to make sure that they have enough firefighters on duty to handle the job and to ensure that they have the training, equipment and resources they need to do their job well.This federal money will help make sure that firefighters in Clinton County get the resources they need to keep our communities safe.

Champlain EMS has now begun soliciting bids for the new ambulance and will likely choose a manufacturer at the squads next board meeting, said Mr. LaPlante. Once selected, the process to assemble the emergency vehicle to Champlains specification and deliver the unit will take from six to nine months. The new ambulance would likely be delivered in August 2008, he added.

Since its inception in 2001, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program has delivered more than $122 million to New York fire departments.

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