Vidalia Fire Department purchases new ambulance

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vidalia — Emergency medical technicians with the City of Vidalia’s Fire Department got a little relief to their backs last week.

The city recently purchased a 2015 Chevrolet ambulance, replacing an older model that was already used when the city bought it, Fire Chief Johnny Evans said.

“Everything is up-to-date on it, and we have a stretcher lift system with it that, when you go to load them in, it will lift your patient and your stretcher into the back,” Evans said. “It helps the EMTs with their back, not having to bend so much to load it up.”

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The new ambulance is also equipped with 4-wheel drive, which Evans said will help in situations in which EMTs have to pull off to the side of the road or cross a ditch.

“This will help you get in there and off the shoulder of the road, and if you need it you have the 4-wheel drive to get in there without having to call a wrecker,” Evans said.

The old ambulance was purchased used and was meant to last until the department was financially able to get the new one, Evans said, and is in need of a number of repairs.

“The guys said they like it, because it has more room and everything on it is in a place where you don’t have to worry if it is going to work,” Evans said.

While the new ambulance has taken the place of the older model, Evans said the old truck will be fixed and serve as a backup.

“If anything happens to (the new) ambulance, we will have another one there, stocked and licensed so the EMTs could have something to roll with if they needed it,” he said.

The fire department currently has nine EMTs — including the chief — but is currently in the process of certifying others.

“Our goal is to have everyone EMT qualified at the fire department,” Evans said.

The department currently has 18 firefighters and will be hiring two more, as well as the chief and assistant chief.