Allentown EMS has been awarded $141,000 for the purchase of a new ambulance.
The funding comes through the Local Share Agreement (LSA) established in the Pennsylvania Gaming Act for Lehigh and Northampton counties from revenue generated at the Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino (formerly Sands Bethlehem Casino) and administered by Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).
The funding was secured thanks to the efforts of Senators Pat Browne and Lisa Boscola and Representatives Peter Schweyer and Mike Schlossberg.
The announcement came today following the meeting of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA), which administers the gaming funding.
The ambulance will replace a currently out-of-service emergency vehicle. The ambulance will be equipped with state–of-the-art safety technology, including airbags in the patient compartment, a patented HOPS restraint system for the paramedics and a 360-degree camera.
“The City of Allentown has been devastated by the COVID-19 crisis, both medically and financially,” Eric Gratz, Allentown EMS Chief of Operations, said. “During these difficult times, our residents have relied on Emergency Medical Services more than ever. The funding secured for this new ambulance will help ensure our paramedics can respond in the safest and most reliable manner to continue to serve the public. This support from our local legislators means more to us than all the “Thank Yous” in the world!”
Funding comes as already-strained EMS budgets across the Commonwealth are grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, causing fiscal uncertainty for local stations as they seek to replace aging equipment. These funds serve as the last dollars necessary for the vehicle’s purchase.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a spotlight on these heroes who work tirelessly every day to help our family, friends and neighbors when they need it the most,” Senator Browne said. “I am pleased that our local legislative delegation’s strong bi-partisan working relationship allows us to collaborate on securing funding to support their efforts.”
“Allentown has been one of the hardest hit areas, with more COVID 19 cases per capita than anywhere else in the Lehigh Valley,” Representative Schweyer said. “This funding will allow our first responders and community partners to continue doing the vital work necessary to serve our most vulnerable populations. I am proud to have worked with this delegation to secure this funding.”
“I am really glad to see these funds coming to support important services in Allentown,” Representative Schlossberg said. “Our EMS first responders need every resource we get put in their hands. As always, it is a pleasure working with Rep. Schweyer, Senators Browne and Boscola to support these efforts.”