PITTSTON — U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright recently announced the Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance Service was awarded $74,200 in total grant money from the Rural Development arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The ambulance service received a $40,000 Economic Impact Grant and a $34,200 Community Facility Loan.
Pittston City council member and vice president of the Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance Service Mike Lombardo said the city was aware of the grant when applying for funding for the city’s streetscape projects.
“We knew this was out there and we decided to see if we couple apply to get money for the ambulance,” he said. “We got help from (Executive Director of the Pittston Redevelopment Authority) Joe Chacke in terms of putting the application together, and we reached out to Cartwright with help. Fortunately, we were successful.”
According to a released statement from Cartwright’s office, the Rural Development funds will be used to purchase a 2016 Ford E 350 chassis that will be used to mount a 2008 Horton 453 Ambulance as well as any other necessary equipment. The new equipment will replace a current ambulance unit with over 100,000 miles, which has become too costly to repair and maintain.
The additional ambulance will support coverage of the Greater Pittston Ambulance Rescue Service, which includes Pittston City, Jenkins Township, Yatesville, Avoca, Duryea, Dupont, Hughestown, Pittston Township, Wyoming, Exeter, Exeter Township, West Wyoming, and Laflin.
With a lot of communities to serve, Lombardo is confident the new vehicles will help the ambulance service’s mission of keeping people safe.
“For a long time we just served Pittston City and what we’ve tried to focus on is getting smaller and nimble vehicles that get us around these communities quicker,” he said. “We’re trying to be quicker and more efficient, but these vehicles will carry the equipment needed to serve the communities in our jurisdictions.”
According to the press release, the purpose of the Community Facility grant and loan program is to provide affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas.
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher