LAURINBURG − Scotland County EMS has what are essentially two new ambulances thanks to a procedure known as remounting.
EMS requested approval from the Board of Commissioners in May to have the vehicles remounted as opposed to purchasing new ones.
The process involves taking the patient area, known at the box, and placing it on a new chassis, according to EMS Director Roylin Hammond.
The trucks were remounted because the two diesel engines had mechanical issues that kept them out of service frequently. The two new chassis have gasoline powered engines.
Remounting was a quicker and cheaper alternative to purchasing new.
Acquiring a new ambulance takes around a year because the box has to be specially ordered.
“It’s a 2005 box on a 2017 chassis. We initially paid $93,000 for the 2005 version of this truck,” Hammond said. “A truck that we bought last year cost us $153,000 brand new before tax. This truck cost us $91,500 to remount. We saved, on the two trucks, about $110 to $120,000 by remounting these trucks.”
The trucks went out to Northwestern Emergency Vehicles for service in June and went back into service on Tuesday following a state inspection.
The trucks have been repainted and new cabinetry, wiring, flooring and paneling were installed. LED lights were mounted inside and out. They will reduce the amount of electrical drain on the vehicle, Hammond said.
“This truck should last us another 10 to 12 years,” Hammond said.
The vehicles have had a few minor changes to improve safety and free up space. A seat beside the gurney, designed for paramedics to give CPR to patients, was removed because it was never used and the space will be used to mount a defibrillator and monitor, and new brackets to more securely mount oxygen bottles were added.
“If we were to have an accident that oxygen bottle wouldn’t become a projectile. It locks it in place,” Hammond said.
Having the two ambulances remounted did not put any undue stress on the fleet, according to Hammond. The county has six ambulances in its fleet and two quick response trucks that are equipped to allow paramedics to render aid but not transport patients.
“We are lucky to have that many in operation. It allows us to rotate them out and have them serviced and when we have one break down it doesn’t leave us in a pinch,” Hammond said.
Hammond expressed gratitude to the Board of Commissioners for its willingness to remount the vehicles instead of spending money on new ones.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169