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Norwich Gets Major Ambulance Upgrade

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NORWICH, N.Y. -

It's hard to be first on scene when you don't have the wheels to get there. Norwich first responders got a major ambulance upgrade with state dollars. 

"We rely on these men and women on a daily basis at our most vulnerable times," says Senator Fred Akshar at Wednesday's announcement.

In the City of Norwich, ambulances are heavily used, answering the call in four other municipalities and assisting with emergencies county-wide.

"These things are out the door about 10 times a day," says Norwich Fire Chief Tracy Chawgo.

And those shiny new ambulances don't come cheap, which is why the state covered the cost of two new vehicles, totaling $290,000. It's an upgrade Norwich hasn't seen in more than 10 years. 

The new models have more room for equipment. The Norwich crew doubles as paramedics and firefighters, so those extra compartments carry a change of gear in case they need to switch roles.

"Outside of the ambulance we have our air packs back here for firefighting, we keep our turnout gear out there," says paramedic and firefighter Tyler Zelsnack.

And those upgrades also include updated safety features like seat belts and airbags to keep the crews safe on the road.