Earlier this year, the City of Excelsior Springs approved purchase of a new 2018 Dodge 5500 4×4/Wheeled Coach Ambulance for responding to emergency calls and transporting patients for $215,475, which includes a $7,000 trade-in. In addition to the ambulance, the City will purchase a new 2015 LifePak cardiac monitor to replace one that has been in service since 2005 at a cost of $32,098.56, which includes a $2,500 trade-in. The ambulance and cardiac monitor together came in $2,426.44 under budget due to competitive bid processes provided members of Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and Missouri Emergency Medical Services Association. The ambulance is expected to be delivered in the 2019 fiscal budget year.
How emergency equipment is replaced
Due to the extreme amount of emergency calls that the Excelsior Springs Fire Department responds to, an ambulance replacement schedule was developed by staff several years ago. Each ambulance spends four years as one of two “first out” ambulances, and then two years as the “reserve” ambulance. The reserve ambulance being retired has been in service since 2011 and had 159,102 miles and 7,100 engine hours.
In 2017, the ESFD responded to 2,184 calls for emergency medical services, and had 2,304 patient contacts. That’s an average of nearly six calls per day; so far since January 1, of 2018, the fire department has averaged nearly seven calls per day. The need for emergency medical services continues to increase, which results in more wear and tear on our ambulances.
Each year that an ambulance doesn’t get replaced:
• Liability increases
• Maintenance costs increase
• Mileages on the remaining two ambulances gets higher (reducing their re-sale value) and closer together (increasing the maintenance cost)
As we replace ambulances, it became just as important to replace significant equipment with the new ambulance. The new purchase replaces a Zoll M-Series cardiac monitor, giving ESFD four Physio-Control LifePaks. Having cardiac monitors that are the same reduces training hours, reduces need for different batteries/charging stations, eliminates liability, and maintains continuity throughout all three ambulances.