Grant to fund new equipment for EMS in Luzerne County

PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — An ambulance company in Luzerne county is awarded thousands of dollars in grant money from the US Department of Agriculture.

Take a look at this powered stretcher. It’s just one of the many new pieces of medical equipment the Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance Association is getting with more than $200,000 in newly-awarded grant money.

“I’m just amazed by the community spirit that’s here,” said Xochitl Torres Small, Undersecretary, US Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

Rural Development Undersecretary Xochitl Torres Small came to town to announce the details to a crowd gathered outside of headquarters Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re proud that this investment through the American Rescue Plan has been able to support good quality EMT services here in Pittston,” said Torres Small.

Mike Lombardo is the Vice President of the Ambulance Association. He says the financial boost is a huge help because the association does not receive any taxpayer funding.

“We’re a smaller town, we don’t have the resources that bigger communities have, so to be able to get some help and purchase equipment that would otherwise be out of reach for us is pretty special,” said Mike Lombardo, Vice President, Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance Association.

Congressman Matt Cartwright says everyone should have access to the best medical resources. Not just the large cities.

“All the money seems to go to the big cities all the time. And you know what cities they are, that’s not around here. Our place qualifies here in Pittston as well for rural economic development dollars from the US Department of Agriculture,” said Representative Matt Cartwright.

Lombardo expects to see a positive impact in the many communities and residents the association serves.

“We’ve now doubled the amount of equipment that we’re able to provide so that means we’re able to put more paramedic units out in the street, which means we’ll be able to respond to more calls, we’re able to respond to calls more quickly,” stated Lombardo.

The Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance Association is one of 18 recipients to receive grant money in Pennsylvania.

The Department of Agriculture has awarded more than $10M through American Rescue Act funding.

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