OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego Fire Department is looking to update its aging ambulance fleet. The city is looking for ways to make the fire department, and all other departments, run more efficiently.
Last week, the council approved a resolution authorizing the mayor and councilors to “within 90 days of passage of the resolution to restructure the Oswego Fire Department.
On Monday night, Jeff McCrobie, fire chief, requested a discussion regarding the purchase of two lease-to-purchase 2012, 2013 or 2014 ambulances.
That proposal could enable the city to save some money, according to Council President Ron Kaplewicz. It would also alleviate the work some other departments do to keep the current ambulances road worthy, he added.
One of the ambulances has more than 111,000 miles on it, another has 143 (thousand) plus and a third has 158 (thousand) plus, McCrobie told the Administrative Services Committee Monday night.
The one with the most miles will be decommissioned, he added.
“That will leave us (at the end of February) with two working ambulances,” he said. “I’d like to proceed forward with this. The reason these are 2012, 2013 and 2014 is because these aren’t going to be (specifically built for OFD). These are going to be ‘off the shelf’ so to speak. They’re all brand new; they haven’t sold yet.”
Due to the city’s budget constraints, the department may wind up with just one.
If they both came in under whatever figure the council put in place, would it be possible to purchase both, the chief asked. That might be an option.
McCrobie said he’d like to have the legwork done on this before the city completes its restructuring report later this spring.
“The bottom line here is to maintain a safe and responsible system. We still have an obligation to provide a first-rate ambulance service,” Kaplewicz noted. “And give the emergency technicians the equipment that they need to do their job.”
“Having a new ambulance would actually benefit us,” Council Vice President Eric VanBuren added. “We wouldn’t need to do repairs, the DPW wouldn’t be involved. I’m not opposed to picking up this newer one. I just want to make sure if something happens, we could send it back.”
The committee took no action on the request Monday night. Instead, they will wait for the chief to report his findings and consider that during their restructuring study.