New Fire Chief Mark Mercer, who took over earlier this year for Steve Dawson after he retired, has continued to work on the department’s need for equipment upgrades, and it recently acquired a new ambulance.
Mercer has also worked to get $78,000 in funding to go toward the purchase of a new Safety House, which is used to teach fire safety.
MORE: A 2014 tragedy boosted fire training for kids, and Hamilton officials want to improve it with a new ‘house’
The new house that the department seeks is designed to reach a wider age range, adding middle school students and the aging adult population as target audiences.
Fire officials are pleased with adding the new ambulance to its fleets because it has several safety features that will help first responders.
Safety features on the new unit include a Stryker power cot and load system, proven to reduce back injuries for paramedics, according to Mercer.
Hamilton took delivery of its new ambulance last week at a facility in New Jersey and brought it back to Station 22. The medic unit cost $119,000, and the power cot and load system was $40,000, bringing the total cost to $159,000.
MORE: 5 things to know about Hamilton’s newest fire chief
“It will take approximately two weeks to get everything mounted, including electronics and equipment,” Mercer said. “Hamilton was able to save approximately $90,000 by remounting an existing ambulance body on a new Ford chassis, a process called remounting.”
The new medic unit also will have a unique distinction once it is operational.
“This is the first white ambulance in our fleet,” Mercer said. “It has lots of features to increase safety for our patients and our crews.”
He added that the new unit has high visibility chevrons on the back, reflective striping on the side and LED lights all the way around, which will make it easy to see even at night.
“Every surface, inside and out, is restored and like new,” Mercer said. “That savings reduces overall cost to our citizens and allows the best use of taxpayer money.”
The new medic unit will be assigned to fire headquarters “Medic 22” as soon as all equipment is stocked.
About the Author