Chester First Aid Squad (CFAS) and Chester Volunteer Fire Company (CVFC) both celebrated new state-of-the-art apparatus with its members and town representatives during a dedication ceremony held Sat., Oct. 22. The event was officiated by Father Michael Drury, who serves as Chaplain for the CFAS and the CVFC, as well as other local organizations.
The new custom ambulance is a 2016 Ford F-450 4X4, built by PL Custom of Manasquan, and is the second rig that CFAS had built by this company. It is the first ambulance in CFAS history featuring a pick-up chassis and four wheel drive capability. No tax payer dollars went towards the purchase, as CFAS has been fortunate enough to pay for the ambulance with donations over the years.
Approximately 800 man hours went into planning and designing the ambulance by the CFAS ambulance procurement committee. The committee was assisted in the design and planning process by the Martinsville Rescue Squad, Mountainside Rescue Squad, Summit Fire Department and the Chester Township DPW.
An exciting feature of the new rig is the Stryker Power Load Stretcher System. The electric lifting system allows the rig to become a bariatric-capable transport ambulance by making it safer and easier for first responders to load patients up to 700 lbs. into and out of the ambulance. The Stryker Power Load Stretcher accounted for approximately 11 percent of the total price tag for the ambulance, and was generously funded by the Chester Lions Club.
Other important custom features of the ambulance, on the squad’s needs and requirements, include high visibility rear chevron striping, better functioning cabinet space, an LED lighting package, optimal functionality, ease of use and the latest technology available, including: a multiplex electrical system which controls all electronic features in the ambulance such as suction, lighting and oxygen.
CFAS President Cassandra Cline commented: “Our new ambulance is state of the art and will provide many years of quality service. I would like to thank the ambulance committee for all their hard work. I would also like to thank the Chester Lion’s Club for their continued support. They are an amazing group of people.”
CFAS Chief Michael H. Mastro said, “A lot of time and hard work went into designing and planning the best ambulance possible for our community and our members. After many years of designing and riding in ambulances, we’ve learned what works well and what doesn’t in our fleet. The new ambulance reflects meticulous fine-tuning and I’m hoping to get at least 15 years of trouble free use out of the new EMS 53.”
The fire company also received a new rescue truck, Rescue 5, which is a 2015 Pierce Impel Heavy Duty Rescue.
Currently it is the largest rescue vehicle of its type located in Morris County. The rescue truck was specifically designed to accommodate the needs of Chester Borough and Township situated on Route 206 and Route 513. Rescue 5 brings state of the art technology with not only the chassis but the equipment it can carry. This truck has allowed the Chester Fire Company to expand its basic fire response needs to that of heavy vehicle extrication, swift water rescue, ice water rescue, personal entrapment in machines and rapid intervention crew responses.
CVFC President Thomas C. Grego said, “A lot of time and effort was put in by several members of our organization to design Rescue 5. I would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication to this project. Their goal was to design a vehicle capable of meeting the current needs of Chester and projecting that 20 plus years into the future to allow for modification and upgrades to the vehicle and its equipment. The fire company would like to thank Chester Township and Chester Borough for providing the funding to purchase the vehicle.”