SYRACUSE — An unusual series of unfortunate events prompted Turkey Creek Fire Chief Mickey Scott to request approval Monday, Sept. 9, for an emergency purchase of an ambulance.
After hearing Scott’s chronicle of unfortunate happenstances, the fire and township advisory boards approved funding for the purchase of a 2019 demo ambulance “that we could have in service in approximately six weeks or sooner,” he said.
The emergency purchase would obviate the department’s current plans to buy an ambulance in 2020. That ambulance would not be available until 2021. “The build time for a new ambulance from the time the bid is awarded until it would be delivered is more than a year,” Scott said.
Because the current purchase qualifies as an emergency purchase, no request for bids is required.
The problems with the department’s three-vehicle ambulance fleet began Monday, Aug. 26, when the 2012 ambulance experienced an engine problem “resulting in a severe loss of power.”
“Later that same day, our 2016 ambulance was involved in a motor vehicle accident while transporting a patient to the hospital,” reported Scott. “This resulted two of our ambulances being out of service and we only had one left.”
Scott’s report continued:
• Tuesday, Aug. 27, Scott contacted a local dealership to inquire about immediate repairs on the 2012 ambulance.
• Wednesday, Aug. 28, “another local emergency service offered an ambulance for us to borrow until we could get two ambulances back in service,” said Scott.
• Friday, Aug. 30, the department picked up the 2012 ambulance and placed it back in service. The borrowed ambulance was returned.
• Monday, Sept. 2, the 2008 ambulance experienced a “charging system issue” and was removed from service. The previous ambulance was again borrowed.
• Tuesday, Sept. 3, the 2008 ambulance, with both alternators replaced, was put back in service and the borrowed ambulance was returned.
• Thursday, Sept. 5, the 2012 ambulance overheated during a hospital transport and was returned to the dealership for repair. An ambulance was borrowed from another local emergency service. Repairs on the 2012 ambulance are pending.
• Friday, Sept. 6, the department’s insurance adjuster estimated the repairs on the 2016 ambulance would take six to seven months after the vehicle was scheduled for repair at the manufacturer. Scheduling is anticipated to take at least two months.
Both boards approved the demo ambulance purchase price of $230,528, together with $42,703.20 to replace the power cot damaged in the accident and $10,000 each for ambulance graphics and installation of communications technology.
• The department responded to 148 fire and EMS calls in August.
• Department personnel underwent 468 hours of training during the month.
• The recent MDA boot drive yielded donations of $3,998.18, the highest amount in its 12-year history.
• Lake residents were urged to post address numbers on the street side of their homes and not rely on pier numbers for emergency responses.
The board directed Township Trustee Julie Close to appropriate an additional $180,000 for the ambulance purchase. Close reported the township in August disbursed poor relief of $1,750 for rent $3,261.03 for utilities, $500 for a funeral and $997.01 for food.
The fire board will next meet at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14, in Syracuse Town Hall. The township advisory board will meet at 7 p.m.