WINSLOW — The Winslow Town Council discussed the possibility Monday night of buying a second used ambulance for the Fire Department, which began transporting patients earlier this month.

Councilors in May approved spending up to $85,000 to buy a used ambulance and related equipment.

Since the first used ambulance was put into service July 6, the Fire Department has transported 32 patients, with only two calls requiring coverage from Delta Ambulance, according to Fire Chief Ronnie Rodriguez.

“Things are going very well for the department and this endeavor,” he said.

Buying another used ambulance would provide the Fire Department a backup in case the department was overwhelmed with calls or an ambulance needed repairs, according to Rodriguez.

“We’ve had numerous discussions in regards to the feasibility of having a second unit,” Rodriguez said. “Not only as a backup, but, in the event that we have subsequent calls, we would be able to respond and take care of our patients.” 

Rodriguez said the total cost for the equipment for another used ambulance is estimated at $28,700.

“If we had a purchase price of an ambulance like we’ve already purchased, we’d be under $90,000,” Rodriguez said. “The ambulance that we already purchased was $58,000.”

In April, councilors were set to vote on whether to allow the town to buy two used ambulances and related equipment for $204,400. During a meeting April 20, however, Councilor Jeff West made a motion to amend the original proposal to limit the town to buy only one ambulance.

At the time, West said buying one ambulance would “ease a lot of people’s concerns.”

As with the first ambulance, the money for a second ambulance and related equipment would come from the Fire Department’s capital account, and would not increase the town’s property tax rate, according to town officials.

Before buying the first ambulance, the Fire Department had already been providing emergency medical technician services. The purchase of the used ambulance and having licensed paramedics on staff would be the last pieces needed to give Winslow a fully functioning ambulance service, according to Rodriguez.

Five employees with the Winslow department could test for paramedic certification in December, after they have completed a course at Kennebec Valley Community College.

The Town Council is expected to discuss the matter further when it meets Aug. 10.

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