By Connie O'Connor
WESTFIELD - The long-vacant former gas station at 202 N. Portage St. will soon house an Alstar EMS ambulance and a two-person crew.
At the recent Westfield Village Board meeting, trustees voted to allow Alstar to lease the property to use as an ambulance substation. The Westfield substation will house one ambulance and a two-person crew, and may also be used to store a spare ambulance. The new location will not change the current response to 911 calls. 911 calls are answered first by the Westfield volunteer squad.
If the car or crew is not available then a neighboring volunteer squad is called. Alstar will be contacted only when no volunteer company is available to answer the call.
Alstar EMS is used mostly to transport patients from the Westfield Hospital or from the Absolut Care home. The new substation will cut response time in half for these calls, since Alstar now dispatches its vehicles from Dunkirk or Jamestown. It is also expected that the faster Alstar response time will cut down on the number of transports Westfield volunteers now make that originate from the Absolut Care home. Karen William, business development manager for Alstar, pointed out that this type of transport does not require the use of sirens or flashing lights until the patient is on board.
In other business, board members agreed to the purchase by the police department of a used 2012 vehicle for $24,000. The vehicle will be used as an unmarked patrol car, and will replace the 2003 vehicle now in service. The only modification required will be the removal of the radio from the old car, and its installation in the new vehicle.
The village treasurer felt that sufficient funds are available in this year's budget for the purchase.
Village Historian Marybelle Beigh informed the board that she will likely be leaving the area within the next year, and that a replacement will need to be appointed. The historian works for both the village and the town, and is responsible for studying and interpreting area history, providing opportunities for local residents to learn area history, preserving documents and artifacts of local history, and serving as an advocate for tourism.
Questions were raised about the power outage that had been scheduled for Oct. 13 but was then canceled. The outage will not be rescheduled. The contractors found that they were able to complete the work without turning the power off by using some additional equipment. Trimming in the area has been completed.