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by Patty Cheffey
With constant repairs to current vehicles and with the uncertainty of getting remounts completed, the Marion County Ambulance District approved the purchase of two new vehicles.
A 2022 van and a 2019 truck were approved from Pinnacle during the ambulance board’s meeting last week, at which the board also discussed chassis remounts and heard various updates.
According to Chief John Nemes, the vehicles only recently became available and felt they were something the board should consider.
“Given the trouble we are having with the vehicles we have, and in getting trucks, do we want to consider these,” he said.
The van type chassis will replace the two worst trucks currently owned by MCAD, and with the trade-in the cost for the van will be $82,558. Nemes said he could pay for this vehicle straight out as one ambulance had been budgeted.
Nemes noted that while the van does not have the power mount Stryker cot system, one could be added later if necessary.
“It’s a pretty expensive system for just a transfer truck,” he said.
The 2019 truck, which has 18,000 miles on it is a smaller box than the current ambulances, Nemes said, but noted the Stryker system can be removed from the older truck being traded in and installed in the new truck.
Cost for that vehicle is $230,750 and would be paid for out of the GEMT and reserve funds.
That decided, the board also approved a loan from Commerce Bank to pay for the truck remounts. While the loan is not needed immediately to pay for the remounts, the board voted to grab the 3.18 percent interest on a five year loan while that interest rate was still available.
In discussing the remounts, Nemes said he had received word two of the five Ford chassis needed have arrived and will be released in June.
Braun will begin the remount process, and Nemes expects to have them ready within a couple of months.
“Braun has agreed to hold the price we were quoted back in August for the first two trucks,” he said, noting he could not get that guarantee on the last three. “There are still no production dates set for the other three chassis.”
In other business, the board learned the district had hosted a CISD meeting for the crews, fire and dispatch personnel involved with the recent calls involving a couple of the STARS (Special Needs Tracking and Awareness Response System) patients. That meeting went well, Nemes said.
He also reported another AED will be placed in the community after Jackson Park Golf Course in Palmyra asked about getting one.
That AED has been ordered and will be delivered as soon as it arrives, Nemes said, noting he does not believe there is any delay in those devices.
EMS Week was recognized last week, with the district doing several things for the crews, including holding barbecues and giving away prizes.
Nemes thanked all those who assisted with the week, which culminated in an EMS reunion last Friday, at which several former employees attended.
Nemes also reported the district had received its GEMT funds, including the $124,000 deposit and another $235,000 plus.
He also noted the district had answered 499 calls for April, with calls down sightly at two of the bases, but up at one on average for the month.
The board set the next meeting for Wednesday, June 22, at 6 p.m. at the Ambulance District Command Center on Highway 61 in Hannibal.