On Friday, March 27, Home Auto Group (Farmington Ford) provided two SUVs for Med-Care Ambulance of Mexico to use during the coronavirus pandemic. Standing next to the 2020 Ford Explorer are, from left, Med-Care Assistant Deputy Chief Berta Broomhall, Deputy Chief Paul Landry Jr., Chief Dean Milligan, Home Auto Group principal owner and President Joe “Mac” MacConnell and Parts and Service Director Dustin Elliott. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

FARMINGTON — Home Auto Group (Farmington Ford) has entered into a private-public partnership with Med-Care Ambulance in Mexico to provide two vehicles for assessing individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday morning signage noting the partnership was affixed to the vehicles before they were driven to Mexico.

Home Auto Group principal owner and president Joe “Mac” MacConnell had sent a letter mid-March to area first responders letting them know his company would remain open and their fleets would be top priority if they were in need of maintenance.

Med-Care Ambulance Chief Dean Milligan said, “In putting together a 15-page response plan to COVID-19, there were going to be changes. One would be to have a single first responder go onsite, perform an assessment and in consultation with an emergency room physician determine if the individual should quarantine in place and reach out to their primary care physician or if a call for transport was needed.”

On a whim Med-Care Ambulance Chief Dean Milligan said he called MacConnell and shortly thereafter was informed a vehicle was being made available. On Wednesday Milligan said he was told two vehicles were being offered.

Personnel from Med-Care Ambulance of Mexico were in Farmington Friday, March 27, to pick up two SUVs provided by Home Auto Group (Farmington Ford) to use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured from left are Assistant Deputy Chief Berta Broomhall, Chief Dean Milligan and Deputy Chief Paul Landry Jr. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

“It left me speechless,” he said. “These vehicles will be extremely beneficial for smaller response needs. Other types of calls will continue to come in.

“We had two SUVs but are down to one. We had identified that as a concern.”

Milligan said MacConnell was being so proactive, meeting a big need.

“There’s a lot of unkowns (about the coronavirus) but the math says it’s going to happen,” he said.

Med-Care Deputy Chief Paul Landry Jr. and Assistant Deputy Chief Berta Broomhall were with Milligan in Farmington to drive the vehicles to Mexico.

“Each will get one of the vehicles,” Milligan said. “We have different staffing levels and others may use the vehicles but they will primarily be assigned to the two deputies.”

Landry’s vehicle is a 2020 Ford Explorer while Broomhall’s is a 2020 Ford Escape. Both are red to match Med-Care’s other vehicles.

Milligan said he called Erik Designs in Rumford 48 hours ago and Med Care signs plus one featuring the dealership’s logo and other information were created and donated. The signs were applied to the vehicles Friday morning before leaving Farmington.

“They will have the vehicles as long as the need continues,” MacConnell said. “We need to

Med-Care Ambulance of Mexico has been provided with two SUVs by Home Auto Group (Farmington Ford) to use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Friday, March 27, Assistant Deputy Chief Berta Broomhall at left and Deputy Chief Paul Landry Jr. prepare to drive the vehicles off the lot. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

make sure the people in Franklin County and beyond are taken care of.”

He said no other agencies had reached out to him.

“Obviously we’re open, essential to keep emergency vehicles on the road,” MacConnell said. “We’re glad to help out our community at this time of need. If we can be of further assistance, let us know.”

Milligan said, “This is an example of the creativity of private business, things they can do to form partnerships. They’re setting the bar here.

“I called, didn’t really expect anything. They even offered the same color as our agency.

“I’m overwhelmed.”

MacConnell said the vehicles were just sitting right now, might as well use them.

“We’re all in this together,” he said.

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