Allentown EMS is putting a new ambulance into service thanks to state funding.
Mayor Ray O’Connell, State Senator Pat Browne and Representatives Peter Schweyer and Mike Schlossberg were on hand for the unveiling this afternoon at the city’s Mack South Fire Station.
The city was awarded $141,000 for the purchase of a new ambulance from the Local Share Agreement (LSA) established in the Pennsylvania Gaming Act for Lehigh and Northampton counties from revenue generated at the Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino (formerly Sands Bethlehem Casino) and administered by Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA). Senators Browne and Lisa Boscola and Representatives Schweyer and Schlossberg secured the funding.
O’Connell said, “This new equipment keeps a commitment to EMS to improve its fleet and enhance the front line of our city’s emergency capabilities. We are grateful to Senators Browne and Boscola and Representatives Schweyer and Schlossberg for securing the funding.”
“The highly skilled men and women of Allentown’s Emergency Medical Services are without question part of the bedrock of the city’s public health response,” Senator Browne said. “Ensuring that these dedicated paramedics have the tools necessary to effectively and efficiently perform their lifesaving duties is critical to their mission and viability as a department. I am proud to have worked with Senator Boscola and Reps. Schweyer and Schlossberg to further guarantee that our first responders have the proper equipment to continue their great and vital work.”
“I was pleased to be able to partner with my colleague Senator Browne and Representatives Mike Schlossberg and Pete Schweyer to help first responders in the City of Allentown,” said Senator Boscola. “We have always worked together for the betterment of the Lehigh Valley as a whole and this is just another example.”
According to Representative Schlossberg, “The most basic tenant of our job is to keep people healthy. Allentown is blessed with a wonderful first responder core, and I’m proud to have played a small role in helping Allentown EMS get this state-of-the-art equipment.”
“Allentown is so very fortunate to have the most professional EMS Department in the State, said Representative Schweyer. “I’m proud to partner with them and the City to make sure that their equipment matches their professionalism and commitment to the residents of our City.”
The vehicle is a 2021 Horton Ambulance mounted on a Ford Cutaway Van Chassis complete with the Horton Occupant Protection System (HOPS)—a comprehensive fully-tested safety system that utilizes two types of airbag deployment, multi-density head protection, and a four-point seatbelt harness to mitigate the severity of a crash.
It includes a powered ambulance stretcher featuring a battery-powered hydraulic system that raises and lowers with a touch of a button capable of handling patients of up to 700lbs and a power-load system which is an electric over hydraulic motor that lifts the stretcher and supports it on a rail to load in the ambulance.
Its safety and security features include rearview cameras as well as automatic perimeter lighting anytime the vehicle is in reverse; all doors including rear and side doors can be locked at any of the seated positions; patient area windows can be “blacked” out for patient privacy and crew safety; and keypad entry pads on exterior doors secure the ambulance and allow for keyless entry upon return.
A Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization unit has been installed to provide continuous air purification.
The price of the ambulance chassis and equipment is $200,000. The power load system and stretcher were removed from an out-of-service unit and reinstalled into the new ambulance saving the city $45,000.
The ambulance will replace a currently out-of-service emergency vehicle.
Eric Gratz, Allentown EMS Chief of Operations, said, “The COVID pandemic has created fiscal challenges for government at every level. By collaborating with our local state elected officials, the City of Allentown Emergency Medical Services was able to purchase this state-of-the-art ambulance which will improve patient care and safety.