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Jemison Fire upgrades to new ambulance

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Jemison Fire Department has purchased a new ambulance with upgraded features.

Chief John Dennis said the ambulance is larger with more space for patients and equipment than the van-style ambulance it is replacing.

“We will get better service and lower maintenance costs,” Dennis said.

Being able to carry more equipment will allow the ambulance to carry some minor extraction equipment.

“With limited personnel trying to figure out which apparatus to take, I think that helps us be able to have what we need on the scene,” Dennis said.

Dennis said the vehicle was purchased from Southern Emergency Consultants for “a little over $96,000” through the city’s capital funding.

The ambulance is a Wheeled Coach model, which was a model Dennis said he prefers.

Every member of the JFD can work on the ambulance, either as a driver or a paramedic. Dennis said seven department personnel are paramedics.

Dennis said the other ambulance was “getting some age and miles and needed to be replaced.”

“We have ambulances that have been transporting since 2013,” Dennis said.

The old ambulance will be kept as a reserve vehicle, bringing the department to three ambulances.

Dennis said an ambulance typically needs to be replaced in five years or when it has 120,000 miles.

“With that age and mileage, because they are hard miles and the amount of calls, it’s time to put it in reserve status,” Dennis said.

Jemison Fire makes an average of 85-90 ambulance calls per month. Dennis said not all of these calls require transport.