CARES money used to purchase ambulance

By: 
George Browning

 

There hasn’t been a whole lot of good to come out of the COVID-19, but one positive has been money from the CARES Act given to public offices.

Washington County received more than $900,000, some of which has been used to make improvements to the Washington County Ambulance Service.

The Ambulance Board held a special meeting Sept. 2 to approve three purchases.

The largest purchase was a new ambulance for the fleet. The ambulance will be a 2021 Ford E450 and Demers Type 3 Box. The cost is $167,950.

The new ambulance will allow the oldest ambulance in the fleet to be sold. There was discussion from the board about whether to trade the ambulance in on the new one, or put it up for bid with the hopes that it would end up with a local volunteer fire department. The body on it is old, but the diesel engine has low mileage, as it was recently replaced.

The board decided to take bids on it rather than trade it in and that will take place near the time the new ambulance is delivered early next year.

Another vehicle purchase was approved with the CARES money, a new chase vehicle. The vehicle will be a Dodge Durango and is needed for a number of reasons.

Nick Oleck reported to the board the vehicle will allow for additional responses with crews and to cover runs when other ambulances are tied up. He also said on scene times are a lot quicker with a chase vehicle.

The current chase vehicle has some mechanical issues and will be used by the deputy EMS director, as needed.

The board also approved the purchase of two video laryngoscopes. These allow for visual intubation without having to remove personal protective equipment. The cost is $5,675.

All of the purchases will help the ambulance service to continue to move in the right direction.

Oleck reported from January 1 through August 25 in 2019, the EMS service took in $950,053.24 and paid out $972,713.35 for a negative of $22,660.11.

Through the same dates this year, the ambulance service has taken in $936,554.92 and have had expenditures of $856,864.74, which is a $102,360.29 upswing.

All the board members commended Oleck and the entire crew on the work they are doing.

The ambulance board’s regular meeting is held on the third Thursday of each month. The next meeting will be Thursday, September 17 at 9 a.m. on the second floor of the Washington County Courthouse.

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