CLINTON — Town officials are considering a proposal by the fire chief to use the town’s second installment of federal American Rescue Plan Act money to replace the town’s older ambulance.

Chief Travis Leary brought his proposal to use $177,000 of ARPA money before selectmen Tuesday. He explained that the town has two ambulances and a discussion needs to begin on replacing the older one, called Rescue 6. It is 20 years old and has 146,000 miles on it, he said.

The town has a second, newer ambulance, which is used first when emergency calls come in. Rescue 6 is the backup and is used when a call has multiple people injured, if back-to-back calls come in and when the newer ambulance is out for maintenance.

Since 2018, Rescue 6 has responded to 328 calls, Leary said. Just this year, the newer ambulance was out of service for more than two weeks for maintenance, and in that time Rescue 6 was the only ambulance available in town. Rescue 6 responded to 28 calls over that period, including two pediatric emergencies.

If the town were without both ambulances, then residents would have to wait for another town or service to drive in, which can take 20 to 30 minutes, Leary said.

The town already has $60,000 set aside in a reserve account to buy an ambulance, and Leary would like to see officials augment that amount with the $177,000 from the second installment of the ARPA money.

“I don’t think we’re gonna see this type of funding again, that’s why I really would like to set it aside for a project like this that would benefit all the residents,” Leary said.

He said that under the federal guidelines he had reviewed, purchasing an ambulance is an acceptable way to use the money. He added that several other towns in the state have used it for ambulances as well.

Selectmen took no action Tuesday and asked Leary to compile more information to bring back to them.

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