The McFarland Fire & Rescue Department will be replacing its ambulance with a newer model after the village board approved the purchase.
Fire & Rescue Department Chief Brad Bowen said when he was hired there was already a committee in place to select a vendor for the new ambulance. The group considered affordability, durability and overall manufacturer components and its longevity.
However, the cost of the new vehicle came in nearly $65,000 over the budgeted amount of $175,000. Bowen explained the $175,000 ambulances are often used by private companies that replace their vehicles every three to five years. The proposed ambulance will cost $240,202.81
“With this, we’re going to be an ambulance that lasts a 10-year period depending on our call volume and what happens over the next 10 years could increase,” Bowen said. “We could keep it longer if the vehicle lasts.”
Another reason the committee recommended Braun ambulance was its weight limit. Bowen said for other ambulances, the chassis cannot hold the amount of weight it is carrying between the patient, staff and equipment. In the case of overweight ambulances that get into an accident, the insurance will not cover the accident and the warranty will be void, Bowen said. The Braun ambulance will be able to have a higher weight limit, which also factors into the higher cost.
The cost of the ambulance was further impacted by the inclusion of a power-load system, which costs $21,749.
“The power-load actually has the power to pick that cot up and load it into the ambulance,” Bowen said. “Now the power-load doesn’t just help our EMTs – it’s the first and only crash-tested safety restraint for the cots.”
It will also have a power cot costing $17,000. The EMS Association has agreed to pay for this piece of equipment as long as the village pays for the ambulance to be outfitted with the power-load system.
The ambulance manufacturer has also guaranteed a $3,500 trade-in for the old ambulance. Bowen said the village can put the blue ambulance for sale on the Wisconsin Surplus website with a minimum $3,500 price tag. The vehicle may sell for more than the asking amount and if there are no buyers, the village will still receive the $3,500 trade-in value. Bowen said if the ambulance is sold on the surplus site, the manufacturer will provide a loaner ambulance free of charge for up to three months.
For more information, view www.hngnews.com