Fire department gets grant for new ambulance

The life expectancy of an ambulance used by the Grand Junction Fire Department has decreased with an uptick in the demand for emergency medical services, according to the department.

In the past five years, the department has seen a 35 percent increase in emergency medical calls, according to the department, and that rapid increase has resulted in ambulances wearing out faster. The Grand Junction Fire Department’s fleet is a step closer to receiving more reliable transportation after receiving a grant to help replace an ambulance.

The department received a Colorado EMTS provider grant to replace one of its eight ambulances this week, according to spokeswoman Ellis Thompson-Ellis.

As recently as last weekend, one of the department’s ambulances was taken out of service for mechanical problems, she said.

Since January 2017, the ambulances have been in the shop 58 different times, according to the department, often for costly repairs such as new transmissions.

The department has had to borrow ambulances from other departments or has gone without backup ambulances in some situations due to maintenance issues, according to the department.

Normally, ambulances last an average of 10 years or 120,000 miles, but the department is seeing the vehicles wear out faster due to increased call volume.

This year, the department is hoping to replace two ambulances with heavier-duty models that can handle the demands of the increased use and last longer.

A cost of a new, heavier duty ambulance could cost between $220,000 and $250,000, the department said.


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