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TOWNSEND — Wanda Goodwin, operations manager for the Townsend Ambulance Service, said the department “has started the process to purchase the new ambulance that was given the go-ahead at town meeting.”

“(The town hopes) to be able to get one of the demo ambulances that are out there for purchase, so that would cut the cost down somewhat,” she said. “Just like car shows, fire and ambulance makers have shows with the all the newest vehicles. These vehicles have all the bells and whistles, and you can get them at a better price because they are demos.”

The town voted to give the department $125,000 for a new ambulance.

“We can probably do better than that if we can get one of the demos from this year’s show,” Goodwin said.

The department is currently putting together the specifications for the vehicle. It will then go to bid.

“The bidding process takes some time, and realistically, we would be looking at the beginning of February before we get the new ambulance,” said Goodwin.

The new ambulance will replace the 1993 model that is reaching the end of its life. According to statistics, Goodwin said, it is the second oldest ambulance in the state.

The department is planning on using the equipment in the old vehicle to outfit the new one, according to fire Chief William Donahue. The ambulance department also received a positive vote to upgrade two LifePak monitor/defibrillators. That cost came to $8,600.

Finally, the town will have the chance to vote on the referendum question to allow the fire department to spend $350,000 for a new fire truck on Jan. 24. The money was approved at town meeting as a debt exclusion, and it must pass at the ballot box before it is official.