WILLIAMSTOWN >> Purple and gold hues are the colors on a new Village Ambulance Service paramedic response vehicle and the fleet's remaining ambulances are in line for a color conversion as well.
Ambulance service board members opted to abandon the longtime — and traditional — red and blue paint scheme for a new vinyl application favoring the well-known Williams College colors, said Village Ambulance Service Executive Director Michael Witowski.
"We thought it would be beneficial to join with the town," Witowski said. "And Williams College is one of the town's most recognizable facilities. We are tying ourselves to the town and to the college."
The colorful decision is not based on any donation from any source and there's no agreement with college officials requiring a color change, he said.
"We are proud to be going purple and gold," Witowski said. "This will set our ambulances apart and make us very easy to spot. The next one getting the change is the van ambulance and that is going [on] next week."
Village Ambulance Service owns and operates four advanced life-support ambulances.
While EMTs will continue wearing navy blue jackets, they will soon don a new purple and gold uniform shoulder patch. Purple jackets are being provided to Village Ambulance Service board members, Witowski said.
"The EMTs are recognizable with the blue jackets," Witowski said. "Board members will wear the purple."
The paramedic response vehicle, a Ford Explorer, was purchased in early April and costs for the vehicle are expected to total about $15,000. Costs include the purchase price and medical equipment expenses, according to Witowski. The vehicle should be responding to emergency calls by the end of May. The color application cost about $850.
"We needed a paramedic vehicle," Witowski said. "We scraped together the money to do this. We really need to be able to deploy a paramedic to every 911 call."
The applications to the additional ambulances are expected to cost between $1,500 and $2,000, he said.
KMS Signs of North Adams is tackling the job, he said.
Paramedics are certified to provide more intensive emergency care than emergency medical technicians and are invaluable assets to ambulance services, Witowski said. The Village Ambulance Service employs six paramedics and offers services to the town as well as Hancock, New Ashford and parts of Pownal, Vt.
"We are proud of what we do," Witowski said. "We are proud to be a part of this community and we want to show it."