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The City Council Tuesday night approved an order from Mayor Richard Kos for $250,000 for the purchase of a new ambulance for the Chicopee Fire Department.
In an effort to maintain safety and reliability, a Fire Department policy places ambulances on back-up or reserve status after reaching 80,000 miles to ensure there is always a reliable ambulance available.
Currently, the City’s fleet of ambulances is comprised of a 2016 model with 1,885 miles, a 2014 model with 79,189 miles, a 2009 model with 164,721 miles, and another 2009 model with 149,635 miles. The mileage on the ambulances adds up quickly as they operate 24/7. Issues with the 2014 model have limited the reliability of the ambulance.
“We are in serious need of another ambulance as mileage on our ambulances accumulates quickly and they break down frequently at that point,” said Fire Chief Dean Desmarais. “Due to our high volume of calls, we are hoping to purchase another new model in order to maintain a fleet of reliable vehicles to ensure reliable transport of our patients.”
“In Chicopee we are able to offer excellent emergency response, whether it be police, fire, or ambulance,” said Mayor Kos. “The purchase of this ambulance will allow us to continue to maintain that quality of service.”
The ambulance will be ordered as soon as specifications are finalized. In a letter to Mayor Kos, Chief Desmarais reiterated that the time period between ordering a new ambulance and delivery of the vehicle is lengthy and that increasing miles on current ambulances reduces their reliability, which creates a potential risk for patients. Production can take up to eight to twelve months to complete.