County playing musical ambulances
An ambulance that hit a deer, another with a blown engine, and a third getting maintenance and inspection after more than two years in mothballs have emergency medical services playing musical ambulances to cover the county.
The ambulance with engine failure ordinarily was used as a back-up ambulance based in Hillsboro.
Because repairs would be estimated to cost $10,000 and replacing the engine would be estimated to cost $25,000, county commissioners agreed with EMS director Curt Hasart’s recommendation to dispose of the ambulance.
“It will be decommissioned and go on Purple Wave,” Hasart said.
The online auction service often is used to sell government and surplus equipment.
The primary Hillsboro ambulance was moved to Marion and an ambulance stationed at Peabody was moved to Hillsboro to make for smoother operations, Hasart said.
A shift supervisor’s vehicle was sent to Peabody, which sometimes has only one emergency medical technician available, to be used as a first-responder vehicle.
Florence ambulance, which has been dormant for more than two years, was sent to a Hillsboro shop for inspection and any routine maintenance needed. Those repairs were completed Tuesday.
Now the ambulance awaits a state inspection.
“It will go into service in Hillsboro as the back-up truck,” Hasart said.
Repairs on the primary Hillsboro ambulance, which hit a deer, are finished, and the ambulance is back in service at the Hillsboro station, he said.
In the meantime, EMS has done much juggling.
On Sunday evening, Marion and Hillsboro ambulances were dispatched to the 300 block of N. Maple St. in Peabody for a 70-year-old woman having trouble breathing.
Three minutes later, a two-person Peabody ambulance crew, operating from what had been the shift supervisor vehicle, was dispatched as a first-response unit.
The call for Marion ambulance, which had been operating for several days with an ambulance normally stationed in Hillsboro, was canceled.
Eventually, the call to Hillsboro ambulance was, too, after the Peabody emergency medical technicians reported the patient would go to a hospital by private car.