New Dare ambulances equipped with 4wd, power stretchers

By on May 22, 2018

Just in time for the start of the busy summer season in Dare County, the Department of Emergency Medical Services has replaced three older model ambulances with state-of-the-art vehicles.

The new ambulances sit on Ford F-450 4×4 chassis. The 4×4 ambulances will provide additional options when roads, including N.C. 12 to Hatteras, become impassable due to overwash and other weather-related conditions.

They handle better with smoother rides in the patient compartment thanks to liquid spring suspension. The suspension automatically levels the load and compensates for movements.

“Our new units meet current industry standards for safety, especially new stringent standards related to crash tests. These new standards have resulted in improvements in responder and patient safety,” Chief Jennie Collins said in a press release.

New stretchers can accommodate up to 700 pounds, and a fastener system automatically lifts the patient up to the loading level. Previous ambulances had doors opening out into roadways. The new EZ Glide doors will slide open down the side of the ambulance, mitigating risks to employees and damage to doors from high winds frequent in Dare County.

Each ambulance cost $211,148, which includes the Stryker PowerLoad Stretcher System at $32,385 each, according to Collins.

“We had exhausted the number of times that we could re-mount our old rear box on a new truck chassis, which is what we had been doing for numerous years,” Collins wrote in an e-mail. “Once you exhaust the amount of times to remount an old box on a new chassis, you must purchase an entire new unit. We were at that point this year.

“In purchasing new units, we could adopt the new industry standards and integrate that into our fleet moving forward.”

Over the course of a year, staff on the EMS Ambulance Build Workgroup researched manufacturers, the latest technology and designs and spoke to other EMS agencies about recent purchases.

The group selected a manufacturer, designed the new units, then selected the options and features to meet the needs of staff and the comfort and safety of patients. Members of the EMS Ambulance Build Workgroup include Capt. Jeff Mitchell, Lt. Steve Burritt, Advanced EMT Bill Laricos, Paramedic Kristen (Weaver) Burritt, Paramedic Lee Goldman and Paramedic David Hooks.

EMS serves 30,000 year-round residents and a weekly visiting population of 300,000.

Check out the new ambulances, get a free blood pressure check and meet EMS staff at the EMS Week Open Houses on Wednesday, May 23 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Station 1 in Kill Devil Hills, Station 2 in Manteo and Station 3 in Buxton.

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See what people are saying:

  • Jason Chrismon

    These new ambulances are very sharp looking! 4×4 units are something we’ve needed here for a long time

    Tuesday, May 22 @ 5:48 pm