Grant Funds Pagers and Radios for Ambulance Company in Schuyler, N.Y.

A federal grant adds communications gear and replaces borrowed equipment.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant program has awarded Schuyler Ambulance Inc. a grant of $10,328 to purchase 15 pagers and four portable radios to enhance the ambulance company's communications. Currently, the 25 members of the Herkimer County volunteer group utilize five pagers and two portable radios, borrowed from the Schuyler Volunteer Fire Company.

"The grant obviously adds a good deal to our communications efficiency, which has a direct impact on the health and well-being of our patients and we’re grateful for it," said Anthony Pagliaro, the ambulance company’s Emergency Medical Services director, in a news release from FEMA. "It also strengthens the company's self-sufficiency because this new equipment will be our own. Borrowing radios and pagers from our fire company makes us dependent and leaves them with no pagers or spare radios if one of theirs goes out of service."

The ambulance company operates in Schuyler, N.Y., a town of 3,500. Mutual aid agreements extend to other townships, bringing the population of total responsibility to 40,000. Pagliaro said the new radios will be issued to the company emergency medical services director and the assistant director of operations for their use. The other two radios will be kept inside the ambulance itself for use by the crew. The crew will also take the pagers, eliminating the need to use personal cell phones on duty.

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