Fire Chief says new ambulance is almost ready

WOBURN - Three financial transfers totaling $178,553 and requested by Fire Chief Paul Tortolano were approved by the City Council at its recent meeting.

In response to a question from City Council President Paul Medeiros, Tortolano also reported that the department's new ambulance, which was acquired last month, should be on the road shortly.

"It was registered (Tuesday) and it will be weighed (on Wednesday)," Tortolano said.

When the new ambulance hits the streets, the city's existing Rescue 1 vehicle will go into the shop for repairs.

"It needs a new floor," among other refurbishment, Tortolano said.

Rescue 2 will be used until the repairs on Rescue 1 are finished and the vehicle is delivered back to the city. Once that happens, the current Rescue 2 will be traded back to the manufacturer.


Of the three transfers, two were "very typical" procedural matters, Tortolano said. A $150,000 sum will be moved from ambulance receipts to ambulance salary.

Normally, Tortolano noted, as an accounting procedure he underfunds the ambulance salary line item in the annual budget, and then adds receipts when they are received, in order to pay personnel who operate the ambulances.

In the same vein, Tortolano transferred $20,000 from ambulance receipts to ambulance maintenance, for "primarily supplies and expenses."

A transfer of $8,553 for new defibrillators was "atypical," according to the chief. He said the money would go toward replacing the current units with new ones that can accommodate pediatric patients.

According to, "a defibrillator is a medical device ... that is used to deliver an electric shock to a patient, in an attempt to stop ventricular fibrillation," a cardiac condition "which consists of a lack of coordination of the contraction of the muscle tissue of the large chambers of the heart that eventually leads to the heart stopping altogether."

© 2000 Woburn Daily Times Inc.