Alachua County Fire Rescue unveils new ambulances
Published February 11th, 2016
ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. -- Alachua County Fire Rescue (ACFR) is introducing some new additions to the fleet today.
ACFR is rolling out two state-of-the-art ambulances. These new rescue units will replace the existing ones. The older units will be rotated throughout the fleet to help extend the life of the vehicles.
"The two trucks themselves are actually just replacement--they're budgeted in. They were due to come online anyway. We were able to get a county awards grant so that the bariatric stretchers would only cost us 25% of the total cost," ACFR Assistant Chief of EMS Jeff Taylor explains.
This is the first time ACFR has added new ambulances in about 10 years. And the units come equipped to better assist personnel with transporting larger patients.
"What's different about the rescue units that we ordered this time, is we received two rescue units that have a mac lift and an oversized stretcher so it's capable to handle patients of a bariatric nature," ACFR Deputy Chief Harold Theus says.
Despite having a lower rate of adult obesity than both the national and state average, there's still a need for bariatric ambulances in Alachua County.
"While Alachua County is, by and large, very safe, we see very many patients coming in from bordering counties that are not as fortunate so that need is there," Taylor says.
The counties bordering Alachua are amongst the highest in the state for obesity rates. And with these counties not having a bariatric unit of their own, these new ambulances will likely assist neighboring counties often.
"We have mutual aid agreements, but we also have automatic aid agreements with our surrounding counties. So, if any one of our surrounding counties were to call us with a special need, I'm sure we'd be able to do everything we could to meet that need," Theus says.
One of those new ambulances will operate on the East side of Alachua County, with the other based on the West side.
"It really provides an extended ability to provide care in an area we haven't been able to do in the past," Theus says of the rescue units.
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