Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
New Boston Police Sgt. Josh Carver asked New Boston Village Council Tuesday evening for permission to accept an ambulance from Portsmouth Ambulance. Carver told council the vehicle is being donated for the village to use as a special response vehicle.
“I went to Portsmouth Ambulance and asked if they ever donated, or contributed, retired ambulances to any organizations. I would like to have one to start a special response vehicle for the village, not only for law enforcement but for any combination of issues that may arise. The village has had flooding, and flooding equipment could be put on it. River rescue equipment could possibly be put on it. He (from Portsmouth Ambulance) stated he had no problem doing that, and he called me last week and said he had an ambulance for us,” Carver said.
The box-van ambulance is in good working condition, he said. It has all of its service records, and will keep all of its cabinetry, radio and lights.
“I’ve been working in the community and speaking with others, trying to get donations to try to fill that ambulance with the equipment that I’d like to put in it. That way it doesn’t come out of the financial part of it,” Carver said.
Village Administrator Steve Hamilton said he spoke with the village’s insurance provider already, and was told it would not add any cost to their premium to add the ambulance to their policy.
“This is coming up on my fifth year, and I could have used something like that twice on street flooding,” Hamilton said.
Carver then asked council to also consider allocating funds for the New Boston Fire Department to receive training dismantling meth labs in the village. He said that would allow for faster response, rather than waiting for clean-up from Lawrence County, and the village would also then be allowed to seize the property where the meth lab was found.
“I spoke with the chief and captain about maybe going to the Portsmouth PD and Shawnee State PD, and all these schools, and starting another small-manned SWAT team, which we’d need another vehicle for. At the time, I was told we probably wouldn’t need that and then a week later they had the standoff down there at the apartment complex and waited three hours I think for police SWAT teams to arrive,” Carver said. “We have schools here that we were unable to get school resources officers. Shawnee State is getting bigger and bigger, and having more response. I’d like to work with these other departments and get us all trained, so if something were to happen — and I am a pessimist — I’d rather us be ready than just sit there and ask what do we do.”
Council agreed to accept the donated ambulance, but advised Carver not to be so quick lending out the equipment to other agencies until they have had time to review their usage policies and liabilities.
“I think if you get it, you need to be kind of narrow thinking about it, instead of trying to be just doing everything,” said Councilman Terry Salyers. “Because you’re going to have this guy wanting to use it for this, and that guy for that, and it’s not going to (work).”
Salyers said it’s nice to have those things in mind, and maybe they can do it all later, but for now he asked Carver to keep it for the village. Carver assured council that he would, and said it would take 6-12 months before it’s fully-stocked and ready for the road.
Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.