LITTLE FALLS, NJ - The township is in the process of acquiring two ambulances, since switching to a full-time emergency medical service (EMS) last fall. According to Mayor James Damiano, the switch from going full-time and paid started last September, and has resulted in greatly improved response times.

"As many people know, I was in favor of getting a full-time EMS service here in town," he said. "I'm very happy to report that our response time has gone down from an average of 20 to 40 minutes, to averaging four minutes per call."

Damiano added that the township was able to do that without sustaining an additional cost from the municipality. An EMS program that is strictly volunteer costs anywhere between $75,000 to $100,000 annually. He noted that a full-time EMS service is comparable to that cost. Those who had been volunteering prior to the switch had to apply through the paid program.

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The two new ambulances, that cost roughly $200,000 each, are being acquired through the City of Paterson's bulk purchase of 10 new ambulances. The purchases of the two ambulances were approved in this year's budget under the capital project line item. Damiano added that through the bulk purchase being made, the township will save $5,000 on each ambulance.

"Right now, we are projecting the costs will be similar to what they were when they were volunteer service," he further added. "Many times, you had to wait for out of town contract services to come and service our local municipality, so I am happy to report that we are on track to having a full time EMS, and we will have two ambulances to go along with that, this year."