Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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New Ambulances On The Way To Clay For Aging Chassis

Two new ambulances are on the way in Clay County to mitigate soaring maintenance costs caused by high-milage units.

EMS Director Andy Hall said he expects one ambulance to arrive this fall, while the second remains at least a year from arrival. He said the county had to replace a $16,000 motor for an ambulance recently. He said that money comes from taxpayers with minimal reimbursement.

“It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there when it comes to ambulances right now,” Hall said. “I don’t know if they’re not making enough chassis or what, but you have to try to fight to get a chassis. Manufacturers are having a hard time getting things so it’s making a little bit extended production times.”

Hall said just a few years ago, ambulances could be expected to arrive within a year of being purchased. Hall said the county will have to rely on its four aging chassis for now, but he is excited for the new trucks to arrive and relieve the need for such frequent service and repairs.

“When you get a new truck, you get a warranty, so our vehicle maintenance budget will be a lot easier on us for a while,” Hall said. “Right now, we’re still starting off and still waiting on getting our Medicare numbers and our CMS numbers and stuff like that, so all this right now is being funded by the county.”

He said with a steadily rising population, the number of calls for service has climbed significantly in recent years. He said two trucks are on the road 24/7, but the two backup trucks have been called upon more than they used to in order to deal with the increased demand for service. He said with no hospital in the county, driving to emergency rooms in Livingston and Cookeville drives up milage quickly.

“Now, you’re taking everything out of the county,” Hall said. “So your trucks are on the road double the time they used to be when we had a local hospital.”

Hall said one ambulance was purchased with federal COVID funds. A Community Development Block Grant funded the ambulance slated to arrive in 2025.

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