AMHERST, Mass. – For the fifth consecutive year, the University of Massachusetts Amherst will provide the Town of Amherst $80,000 for expanded ambulance service during the fall and spring semesters.
The contribution for the 2017-18 school year will cover staffing for two additional ambulances during busy Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
The $80,000 is in addition to payments made by the university to the town for ambulance service according to a per-call formula. That amount totaled $420,000, part of the $4.6 million paid by the university to the town during the 2016-2017 school year.
Nancy Buffone, associate vice chancellor for University Relations, said, “In recent years, we have worked closely with leaders of the Town of Amherst on a wide range of issues including economic development, quality of life concerns and joint planning opportunities. We are committed to continuing this work as evidenced by the ongoing work of the Campus and Community Coalition to Reduce High Risk Drinking (CCC), the University-Town of Amherst Collaborative (UTAC), and regular partnerships with the town including party registration and the work of our neighborhood liaison, in collaboration with the Amherst Police.”
Buffone added, “We continue to support the partnership financially, and as good neighbors want to help ensure the safety of all residents. The additional funding provided to the Amherst Fire Department will allow for increased ambulance staffing during busier weekends, helping to meet that goal.”
Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman said, “I am pleased the university has decided to continue its commitment to support the staffing of additional ambulance services during critical, peak times of the school year. This payment will supplement the robust commitment the town makes on a regular basis to ensure the safety and security of the students and staff at the university. This is but one example of the strong partnership between the town and the university that has been forged over many years.”
The university began paying to cover the expanded weekend service in spring 2013. In late 2015, the university and the town signed a new Strategic Partnership Agreement that addressed a range of issues including payments to the town for fire, ambulance and other municipal services, annual payments to the town equal to an occupancy fee at the Hotel UMass, and commitments to joint work on public utilities, public safety and economic development issues. The agreement extends to June 30, 2019.