Starke County EMS Director Travis Clary asked the county commissioners last week for permission to seek quotes for a new ambulance.
A gasoline-powered engine would be a better fit for the county with other specifications to be outlined in the quote paperwork. A diesel engine is only being produced on a large truck-style chassis which won’t fit in the ambulance garages.
Commissioner Kathy Norem asked for a mechanic’s report to see which ambulance would be replaced. There are five ambulances in the fleet with a 2009 Ford and a 2011 Chevy with the highest miles. Commission President Charlie Chesak noted that the 2009 Ford has a newer engine in it, but Clerk Mary Lynn Ritchie clarified that the 2011 Chevy has the most issues.
A regular rotation of new ambulances is preferred, but the commissioners would like to see a report to see how the fleet is holding up for the county.
In the meantime, Clary will be allowed to seek quotes to get an idea of what a 2021 chassis would cost. The production time for a new ambulance is around 220 days with delivery in the fall or winter.