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TOWNSEND — Fire Chief William Donahue is gearing up for the bid process needed to purchase the new ambulance approved at the special town meeting in November.

“I just have to review the bid paperwork, get it posted for the two weeks required, then wait for the surge of calls,” Donahue said.

He said the posting is done on a state bid level. “I have already gotten many calls from companies looking to sell us an ambulance,” he said.

Donahue said most of the callers he has spoken with can sell the town the equipment, but the wait time is up to eight months to receive it.

“The key thing for us right now is the speed an ambulance can be delivered. I’m more looking at a two-month maximum time to get the new equipment here,” he said. “We cannot afford to wait any longer than that.”

At the town meeting, $125,000 was approved for the purchase of the new ambulance. “We need to get an ambulance that is equipped and ready to go right away,” Donahue said. “Our current ambulance is not doing well at all, and it’s a priority to get one here quickly. I’ll be taking the phone calls after the process and see who can deliver the fastest.”

Donahue has said the equipment from the old ambulance will be transferred to the new piece of equipment once the town gets the vehicle. “The equipment will be stripped from the old to go into the new, just like we do on a fire truck.”

Donahue wanted to remind residents of the town they should go to the polls on Jan. 24 to vote on whether a new fire truck can be purchased. The question passed at the November special town meeting as an override, which means it has to be approved at the ballot box. The town gave the go-ahead for $350,000 for a new piece of equipment. The new truck, if approved, will replace Engine 1, which is a 1973 Maxim pumper. “We want everyone to get out and vote on this, it is very important,” he added.

The special election will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at Memorial Hall, with the polls open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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