Today's Edition About us Local Opinion Obits Sports Things to do Classifieds Newsletters Podcasts Contact us

New ambulance designed to be safer for patients, EMS crew

by Alex Naughton | November 8, 2022 at 4:03 a.m.
Eric Hoy, director of Cole County EMS, asks questions in October 2021 during a presentation by sales staff from American Response Vehicles, of Columbia. (Julie Smith/News Tribune photo)

The new Cole County EMS ambulance will be safer for patients and ambulance crews, Chief Eric Hoy said Monday.

EMS received its new ambulance Monday, and it stands out from the rest of the department's fleet. Aside from the ambulance's new paint job and bright lights, it comes with new features the department is excited to use.

Hoy said the most important upgrades are the new seats and layout as well as the addition of four-wheel drive.

The new seats and layout are unique, Hoy said. They allow the crew to be restrained the whole time they are administering care to patients through seats set up on tracks that allow crew members to move between the front and back of the ambulance's patient compartment without unbuckling and putting their safety at risk.

"With these seats, there should never be a reason for the crew not to be restrained," Hoy said.

This ambulance is the first in the fleet to have four-wheel drive, Hoy said, meaning answering service calls during inclement winter will be safer. All of the older ambulances rely on chains for driving in the snow.

Hoy said the ambulance came with other improvements as well. One of these is an aesthetic change that actually has a significant effect on the crew. Hoy said the new paint job, which is mostly white with blue and red details -- compared to primarily blue vehicles currently in use -- actually helps reduce the heat inside the vehicle. The new paint job is paired with a dedicated AC unit that provides air to the patient compartment.

The ambulance is also equipped with a large deer guard, protecting the front of the ambulance from getting damaged in collisions. Hoy mentioned that just recently one of the department's vehicles hit a deer and needed repairs.

He said the ambulance will also be easier for mechanics to work on.

The new ambulance is expected to come into service in a couple of weeks, Hoy said. One of the main tasks in getting it ready is getting all the equipment into the new vehicle.

"It's kind of like a jigsaw puzzle to find where everything goes," Hoy said.

This ambulance is the first of three ordered by EMS from Osage Ambulances. Hoy said the other two are expected to arrive in February.

Once the new EMS headquarters is built downtown, Hoy said, two of the new ambulances will be stationed there.

The 11,000-square foot complex is expected to have a ground-breaking in early 2023.

Print Headline: New ambulance designed to be safer for patients, EMS crew


Sponsor Content