Malcolm, a community of about 350, and their neighbors in the surrounding rural area previously relied on Lincoln and Raymond for emergency ambulance services.
The department held an open house to introduce the public to its newest piece of red equipment, a 2013 Ford F-450 with an ambulance module made by Life Line.
It adds to the department’s fleet, which includes three grass rigs, a heavy rescue truck, a rescue pumper and a dual pumper/tanker.
Dale Heidtbrink, Malcolm’s fire chief, said the department had been kicking around the idea of buying its own ambulance for four or five years, but finally it decided to get the brand new red rig this year. The ambulance cost $172,000, all paid for with tax dollars.
The ambulance went in service Oct. 6 and transported its first patient a week later. Since then, it has responded to about a dozen emergency calls and has been on standby at six football games.
It isn’t uncommon for volunteer departments like Malcolm to not have their own ambulances, Heidtbrink said, and a few other departments in Lancaster County also must rely on other departments for ambulance service.
Malcolm’s 33 firefighters, 12 emergency medical technicians and six emergency medical responders are responsible for helping people in town, along part of Interstate 80 and at Pawnee Lake. The department also splits coverage of Branched Oak Lake with Raymond.
Malcolm always has had EMTs and EMRs on staff, but outside agencies always had transported patients to hospitals.
“You used to start treatment and someone else would finish it,” EMT Ginger Andrews said.
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