ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – The Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad has taken delivery of a new Horton 553A ambulance, which will go a long way in helping the organization serve the community.

The ambulance was purchased in part with a generous Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant.  The squad then supplemented those funds to complete the purchase.

“An already great squad has gotten significantly better with the arrival of this new ambulance,” said AHFAS chief Richard Huff. “The vehicle was designed to our specifications to help the community. Instantly, our crews and patients will be safer and better served.”

Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad 1st Lieutenant Ray Stoever and squad captain Tom Hayden discuss the new features of the squad’s new Horton ambulance.

The new unit will replace an ambulance with more than 20 years of service that had outlasted its usefulness.

“In light of budget cuts in EMS throughout the state, this grant and purchase of our new ambulance will ensure that the squad will continue to thrive and maintain its progressive posture into the future,” said AHFAS president Lou Marotta.

The new ambulance, purchased from VCI Emergency Vehicle Specialists in Berlin, NJ, includes larger cabinets to carry more equipment, an airbag system for passenger and crew safety, and the latest technology when it comes to emergency lighting and patient care. VCI is the Horton distributor serving New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“It has been a real pleasure in working with the team at VCI in bringing the new rig in on time and on budget,” Marotta said.

Getting the vehicle designed to squad specifications was the work of the squad’s ambulance committee, who spent countless hours considering and debating various features to come up with a plan for a unit to best serve the community.

The Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad has taken delivery of a new Horton 553 A ambulance.

The Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad is an all-volunteer organization providing emergency medical and rescue services to the borough of Atlantic Highlands and surrounding communities. The organization survives only on donations from the borough and the community.

With the new ambulance, the AHFAS will have three fully-stocked Type III response units, in addition to an 18-foot Boston Whaler, 12-foot inflatable boat and a Polaris UTV.  The organization is also a member of the New Jersey EMS Task Force, which responds to natural and man-made disasters around the state as well as pre-planned events.

“The arrival of the new ambulance has instantly boosted squad morale and gotten members reenergized about the fine work they do here,” Huff said. “The DHS grant has allowed us to acquire one more critical tool to help provide excellent, around-the-clock, service to the residents of Atlantic Highlands.”

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...