Fire departments see milestones

September 02, 1998

Fire Dept. sees milestoneBy RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

MARION, Pa. - Volunteer fire departments in Marion and Mont Alto, Pa., are passing milestones this year - Marion for buying its first ambulance in the department's 50-year history and Mont Alto for building its first ambulance garage.

In Marion, the 28 trained emergency medical technicians are proud of the 1989 Ford ambulance that sits in their firehouse at 21 Colorado St.

The fire company paid $17,000 for the vehicle and another $23,000 for equipment, supplies and insurance for its first year of operation. It started making runs this summer.


Annual operating costs should be about $5,000, said Robert Miller, assistant fire chief.

Money for the first year's operation came from $10,000 each from Guilford and Hamilton townships and from Marion, all areas covered by the fire department. The rest came from private donations, Miller said.

Before Marion got its own ambulance, it relied on units from Chambersburg, Pa., St. Thomas, Pa., and Greencastle, Pa., to take victims from the scene, Miller said.

"This is a community ambulance. It will allow us to take better care of our own citizens, provide faster response and quicker transport from the scene. We don't have to wait for an ambulance from another department anymore," Miller said.

He said the new ambulance service and a new $250,000 rescue service vehicle going into operation later this month are part of the department's effort to prepare for growth expected in the Guilford Township area once public sewers are installed.

Marion's new ambulance brings to 15 the number of fire departments in Franklin County, Pa., with ambulances, Miller said.

The Franklin Fire Department in Chambersburg, the New Franklin Fire Department south of Chambersburg and the West End Fire and Rescue in Shippensburg, Pa., do not have ambulances, he said.

The Mont Alto Volunteer Fire Department has three units in its ambulance squad, enough to crowd the company's firehouse. To make room, the department is building a six-bay, $400,000 garage, said Lee Monn, a lieutenant in the fire department and one of three full-time paid EMTs in the ambulance squad.

The 60-foot-by-90-foot steel building should be ready by late October or early November, Monn said.

"We'd like it to be finished in time for the ambulance squad's 20th anniversary in October," he said.

The new building will have living quarters for the paid crew, administrative offices and training rooms, Monn said. The ambulance squad has 15 EMTs and 10 drivers, he said.

The Mont Alto Fire Company was chartered in 1939, Monn said.

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