By Alex Lloyd Gross
Bristol Township residents are expected to flood the township building on Thursday, May 17 when a proposed ordinance is read that will eliminate a very busy squad from providing coverage to Bristol Township. This has been initiated by William McCauley, the Township Manager. He wants to replace the coverage with an ambulance service that is farther away , the Levittown ,Fairless Hills Rescue Squad. Both the Bucks County Rescue Squad (143) and Levittown (154) are stellar organizations with excellent records of service.
The problem, many first responders see is the longer response time. For sections of Croydon, and stretches of Route 13, the Bucks County Squad has a response time of less than 3 minutes. It could take the Levittown Squad over eight minutes to get to some locations. More if they are busy and have to have a different squad respond from another area. If the township is busy with a storm, or major accident, the response time from another squad could prove fatal.
Another argument is that the Fairless Hills Squad will have to purchase new equipment just to keep up with the demand and increased call volume.. For every mile driven, the chance of getting into an automobile accident goes up for emergency vehicles. The longer they are on the road, the greater chance someone will do something stupid in front of them and put them out of service.
No reason was given for eliminating the squad from the township. Residents and first responders who do not want the coverage changed and will be in attendance of the May 17 meeting to find out what is the reason behind it. The Bucks County Rescue Squad will continue to respond to calls for service until an action is determined. If the ordinance is changed and they are not permitted in the Township of Bristol, they will still run calls in Bristol Borough , Bensalem and Tullytown, if needed.
The company suffered a massive fire in August of 1995 that caused their original building to be destroyed. They bounced back and now operate near Lower Bucks Hospital.