LINGLE – The Lingle Volunteer Fire Department will purchase a new ambulance with money from a Mineral Royalties Grant awarded by the State Land and Investment Board.
LVFD Chief Kasey Bangerter said once the bidding process is completed, the department will likely acquire a new ambulance by November or December.
The town’s current ambulance is a 2001 model that has started breaking down during calls, according to Bangerter.
Fort Laramie’s nearby ambulance is also volunteer-run, and the closest full-time ambulance staff in Torrington is still 10 miles away. Bangerter said LVFD responds to calls from Lingle, the county line toward Lusk, and areas south and east of town.
“In a critical incident, if we don’t have an ambulance, somebody’s waiting quite a while for someone to respond,” Bangerter said. “Reliability is important.”
The Mineral Royalties Grant will cover 75% of the cost for a new ambulance, while the other 25% will be matched by the town of Lingle and the Rural Fire Board. During a previous council meeting, Bangerter said the new rig will likely cost somewhere between $160,000 and $180,000.
Lingle Mayor George Siglin said the last time LVFD received a grant for a new ambulance was in 2000, so “it is about time we got a new one.”
“I understand small communities don’t need a turnover every year for a new ambulance, but 20 years, yeah,” Siglin said. “Hats off to the fire department for a job well done.”
Bangerter said he wants to thank community members who donated to help fund the new vehicle.
“It’s going to help us take care of emergency medical situations a lot better,” Bangerter said.