PAOLA – Miami County Emergency Medical Services has received the green light from county commissioners to remount the patient compartment of its Medic 5 ambulance from a 2015 Ford E 450 chassis to a 2020 Ford E 450 chassis.
EMS Deputy Chief Frank Burrow told county commissioners at their Wednesday, Jan. 8, meeting that the remount is scheduled to begin Jan. 10 and will take about 75 days to complete.
Remounting the box-shaped patient compartment includes removal of cabinets, rewiring of the box and replacing the cabinets, according to an EMS report.
The remount will cost $132,500, Burrow said. Purchasing a new ambulance would cost about $189,000, he estimated.
Because the Medic 5 ambulance was damaged after striking a deer in November, $1,500 the county normally receives for the old chassis when trading it out for a remount will not be in play this time around.
Fixing the deer damage was not a viable option because the estimated cost of those repairs was $5,000, Burrow said, adding that the repaired ambulance would have been in service only for one month before being shipped off for the remount.
The Medic 5 ambulance has 160,000 miles on the current 2015 chassis, according to an EMS report. Burrow said ambulances are due for a remount typically between 150,000 and 160,000 miles.
EMS annually remounts one ambulance in its five-ambulance fleet, Burrow said.
Two ambulances are positioned at the primary EMS station on Clover Drive south of Paola, and one is located in the Louisburg Fire Department building on Metcalf Road. A fourth ambulance will be housed at the county’s third ambulance station, opening soon on Old KC Road at Hillsdale.
The fifth ambulance is used as a back-up when the others are in service.
When Miami County EMS was formed in 1989, the agency handled 732 calls. Last year, EMS handled 3,553 calls, with 2,460 resulting in transfers, EMS Chief David Ediger said in a previous interview. EMS averages about 10 calls per day, but ambulances often will be gone for an hour or more when a transfer is needed, depending on the hospital location and traffic, he said.
Commission Chair Rob Roberts asked the two EMS officials to put together a plan looking into the future that includes a sixth ambulance that could be used when one of the five ambulances is out of service, such as for a remount or repairs.
Commissioner George Pretz asked that EMS also look at what it would cost to equip one of the ambulances with a bariatric lift used to load large patients into an ambulance.