RENSSELAER, NY -- Friday evening EMTs at the Rensselaer volunteer ambulance service got their first look inside of their building after an early morning fire damaged much of their equipment.
Lt. William Moak said, "Ambulances are totally destroyed, the break rooms are gutted right out with fire."
Michael Stammel, an active EMT for Rensselaer volunteer ambulance said, "There is extensive damage to the downstairs apparatus floor, the office space, and the crew room."
Stammel has volunteered with the service for more than two decades. He says their biggest loss are the two ambulances now covered in soot. According to him the damages total several hundred thousand dollars.
"We have no funding what so ever other than what we get from the public. So it makes it very difficult for us," he said.
The building's main door had to be boarded up because the glasses shattered. That glass now covers the floor, making it dangerous for volunteers to walk through as they assess all the damage.
"I feel bad for the public because we've done service for 40 years here," said Stammel.
Now Stammel says they'll have to put their services on hold for at least a couple of months until they can rebuild. The ambulance service also took another blow earlier in the year when the city decided another company would handle calls within the city. "The city has chosen over the last year not to assist us with any funding, as well as not operate here in the city we just do mutual aid calls," explained Stammel.
The fire is still being investigated. Stammel says all damage, coupled with their lack of funding, only makes it harder to be fully operational again.
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