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City unveils new ambulance

Buying ‘demo’ saved more than $14,000

September 1, 2010
The City of Warren Fire Department has a new vehicle in its stable. A 2008 Ford E-450 Wheeled Coach Ambulance was certified by a state Department of Health inspector on Tuesday and was immediately put into service. “It adds another resource for the city and the surrounding area,” Fire Chief Sam Pascuzzi said. The vehicle was purchased from Pfund Superior Equipment Sales for $113,389 — a savings of more than 10 percent over compared to a new vehicle. The ambulance had 7,456 miles on it as of Tuesday and was used as a demonstrator model by Pfund. “Because it was a demonstrator, it was able to be purchased for $14,238 less than a unit fresh off the assembly line,” Pascuzzi said. The vehicle is larger than the department’s other ambulance, both outside and in. “It’s a bigger ambulance,” Pascuzzi said. “Longer and wider with a longer wheelbase. The suspension’s better.” “Patients should get a more comfortable ride,” he said. “The compartments are designed to give a little more interior space,” he said. That’s good for the emergency personnel in that they will have more space in which to work and for patients who might get a sense of claustrophobia in small spaces. The E-450 has a more sturdy chassis than the smaller model and should better withstand the driving conditions. Pascuzzi said the vehicle is equipped with Onspot chains. The system allows chains to be put in position with the push of a button. Although Pascuzzi said the department has not had problems with snow and ice, the chain system can only help. The department’s previous ambulance, a 1998 F-350 will stay in service. Over 12 years of operation, the vehicle only had about 45,000 miles. However, those miles are often put on under stressful circumstances. Pascuzzi said the transmission has been replaced at least once and rebuilt more than once. “While still serviceable, the 1998 unit had begun to experience more down time due to mechanical issues, increasing the potential for disruption in coverage,” he said. “At a time when area EMS resources have become more strained, the fire department’s ability to respond an additional unit will help maintain consistent service to city residents when simultaneous calls are received or either unit is out of service,” Pascuzzi said. “Now that we have two ambulances, we’ll be able to respond and transport the (second) patient.” In the past, in cases in which the department received a second EMS call while the ambulance was already out, the department dispatched an engine with two firefighters to the second call to begin treatment until an ambulance, either from another service or the city’s after it cleared the first call, could arrive. “The City Fire Department responded to over 900 calls for Emergency Medical Services in 2009,” Pascuzzi said. “Call volume continues to rise.” The department offers subscription ambulance service to city residents and enrollment forms will be sent out soon, he said. He invited interested citizens to “stop by the station and take a look at the new equipment.”

Article Photos

Photo by Brian Ferry
The City of Warren Fire Department’s new ambulance is seen at the department’s headquarters on Third Avenue on Tuesday.



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