By Michael Buhler
After a long wait, the Clearwater Emergency Medical Service will be getting a new ambulance this summer to better assist it in serving Clearwater and the surrounding area.
The new ambulance recently was approved by the Clearwater city council, and will replace an ambulance that is at least 15 years old.
“We’re on a regular rotation now about every six years and we want to replace one of the ambulances,” Clearwater city administrator Kent Brown said. “One of our ambulances is from the 1990s and it’s time to replace it. We just did some major repairs on the other ambulance. It’s just something that we have to do. Even at six years, that’s more than a decade in between – every ambulance still has to go at least a decade.”
The new ambulance will be a major boon for the Clearwater EMS. The ambulance is built by American Emergency Vehicles and is based on a Ford E-450 Super Duty chassis. The state-of-the-art ambulance will cost $145,800 before any extras are added on.
The cost figure is normal for ambulances these days, according to Clearwater EMS director Don Schauf.
“To really have something stand out above the norm and be different, there isn’t really anything,” Schauf said. “There is more technology and safety in it. The company builds them with safety in mind.”
Brown is pleased that the community can obtain the ambulance to serve its citizens.
“It’s good that the community can afford quality equipment that can serve the citizens and communities,” Brown said. “We also have the personnel that are able to put that equipment to good use.”
However, Brown credits the EMS personnel themselves, not the technology, for making Clearwater EMS a success.
“The group of volunteers really make the service,” Brown said. “They’re the ones that answer the call. They’re the ones who really put the dedication in to provide that service to Clearwater and the surrounding area. Without them, it wouldn’t be possible. I’m just glad that the community voted to put a fee on themselves to enable us to have top-notch equipment.”orders. We do special cuts of meat. We’re a full-service grocery store, but we’re not a box store.”