Amid little fanfare, Mahoning Valley Ambulance personnel proudly welcomed their brand new ambulance last Friday, just as the weekly bingo game was held at the ambulance building.

The timing was only fitting since it was through various fundraisers, such as bingo games, that Mahoning was able to help pay for the custom-ordered $176,000 vehicle. The group also relied on the funds from renting out the hall for banquets, weddings and other events.

The 2010 Chevrolet PL Custom Duramax Diesel, which carries number 664, replaces the department's 2004 Ford (No. 665) which was purchased used from Nesquehoning. That unit is now up for sale.

The new ambulance will be put in service this week, after members transfer emergency medical equipment and radios to the new rig from number 665.

"This one is specifically set up for fire rehab," said Todd Dotter of Spitler Vehicle Specialties of Montoursville, who delivered the ambulance.

"We decided what we wanted on it and it was customized to our specifications," said Lewis Exner, president and board member.

Dotter turned over the keys to Exner following the crew's inspection.

Exner said that the members visited the assembly plant to decide on which modifications were needed.

Mahoning Valley Ambulance, which services East Penn and Mahoning Township, has 14 EMTs, most of whom are also ambulance drivers.

"We waited a long time for this one," said Diana Miller, EMT. "This is a good bunch of people. That's the important thing."