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Potsdam town supervisor to facilitate meeting to help rescue squad get an ambulance

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POTSDAM — Charlie J. Merriman recently appeared before the Potsdam Village Board seeking money to purchase two ambulances.

That funding request was denied and following the rejection, Mayor Steven W. Yurgartis suggested the squad go to the town for help.

Town Supervisor Marie C. Regan informed Mr. Merriman, the rescue squad president, that the town doesn’t have the funding to fulfill the entire request, but she said officials would see what they could do to help.

“Before we would do anything though, I told him we would need to see their financial statements,” Ms. Regan said. “We just want to make sure they don’t have money sitting there that they could use.”

To help the squad obtain funding, Ms. Regan said she would be willing to facilitate a meeting between the squad and the municipalities and organizations that benefit from its services, including Canton-Potsdam Hospital, the colleges, the village, the town and the village of Norwood and town of Stockholm.

“We really need it,” Mr. Merriman said, explaining that one ambulance fully outfitted costs approximately $140,000.

“If this works out and they can make something happen that would be great, but only time can tell,” he said.

According to Mr. Merriman’s presentation before the village board, the squad is aiming to purchase two new ambulances to replace vehicles that are 13 and nine years old. The rear patient “boxes” on each are many years older than that.

Mr. Merriman said the squad has four ambulances, three stationed in Potsdam and one stationed in Norwood. He also said there are instances when all four are in use, and there have been times when an ambulance wouldn’t start.

“If we’re half an hour late to pick someone up, that half an hour might matter,” he said.

Brian Hayden contributed to this report.

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