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Ambulance Cut in Half to Make Call

FITCHBURG, Mass. -- How many people are needed to get a 9,000-pound ambulance into a classroom?

Richard Nutt, supervisor of vocational-technical programs Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, said it took a couple of auto collision shop teachers, assistance from Advanced Glass & Mirror of Westminster, ramps, and lots of manpower to get the job done.

The donation of a 2001 ambulance by MedStar Ambulance Service of Leominster has helped the school set up a new EMT program to prepare students with comprehensive, hands-on classroom training for state and national certification testing.

But while securing the ambulance from an eager-to-help MedStar was easy, getting it into the school was a different story.

"We needed to get the body of the ambulance into one of the health classrooms," Mr. Nutt said. The only way to do that was to cut the ambulance in two and then reassemble it inside the school.

The ambulance is important to the school because it allows expansion of hands-on emergency health training in the school's in-house program, which is staffed by registered nurses.

"As the health industry continues to grow and the need for trained emergency medical personnel keeps pace with that trend, we felt it made sense to expand our health occupations program in this direction," said Denise A. O'Loughlin, Monty Tech's director of vocational-technical programs.

Since cost is a huge factor for such educational programs, school officials were thrilled with MedStar's generous donation, Mrs. O'Loughlin said.

And MedStar was happy to help. "We try, whenever possible, to get involved in the community," said Nick Melehov, MedStar vice president. "I think this program is great, and it's a good way to get more people trained into the field."

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