The James City County Fire and EMS Department is moving forward with the purchase of a new ambulance that officials say will enhance safety for patients and paramedics.
Assistant Fire Chief Miles Pettengell said the Horton medium-duty ambulance will include rear airbags in the patient and paramedic compartment and a four-point seat belt harness, safety features he said are new to the fleet.
The cost of the ambulance, priced at $248,785, will be split between a grant from Virginia’s Rescue Squad Assistance Fund (RSAF) and money from the county’s fiscal year 2016 Capital Improvements Program, Pettengell said.
“It reduces the burden on the tax base and it’s less money out of the CIP,” Pettengell said of the grant, which the department earned earlier this summer. “We’re always looking for opportunities to seek and get grants just to offset those costs.”
The purchase was authorized by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
The ambulance will be used at Fire Station 4 on Olde Towne Road.
Pettengell said the department will review the status of ambulances currently in its fleet and replace the vehicle with the most mileage.
“Once an ambulance reaches its useful life it is replaced,” Pettengell said. “Without replacing an ambulance, that’s one of our Advanced Life Support fleet that is unavailable.”