Ground was broken Tuesday for a new base station for the Cranberry Emergency Medical Service, which will house the agency's ambulance fleet.
The $1.6 million project is being financed by the township and rented to the independent Cranberry Township EMS for $3,200 a month over the five-year term of its lease.
The 7,200-square-foot building will consist of six vehicle bays and have space for office staff and first responders on duty. It is adjacent to the Park Fire Station on Route 19 near the entrance to Community Park.
Construction is expected to be completed later this year. The EMS will continue to operate out of the Thomson Park Boulevard building it has rented from the Passavant Hospital Foundation for 20 years.
The existing building is about half the size of the new facility.
Don Scelza, chairman of the Emergency Medical Service's board of directors, signed the lease Feb. 7.
"The idea behind this new base station is to meet the emergency medical needs of our residents, businesses and visitors for another generation," said Bruce Mazzoni, Cranberry Supervisors' chairman, in a news release after the groundbreaking ceremony.
EMS board vice president Scott Smith, in a prepared statement, said, "This new building will help assure that our response to emergencies will be as quick and effective as possible."
Cranberry EMS employs more than two dozen and has a handful of volunteers. It handles about 4,000 transport and emergency calls annually.