Flossmoor to replace problem-ridden ambulance

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Flossmoor to replace problem-ridden ambulance

November 18, 2014 - 00:00
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Flossmoor is saying goodbye to a troublesome ambulance and kicking the tires on a new emergency vehicle for the village fire department.

The Village Board Monday approved the purchase of a 2015 Osage ambulance for $265,426. The new ambulance, built on a Dodge chassis, will replace a Wheeled Coach unit purchased in 2005.

Fire Chief Chris Sewell said the 2005 ambulance, built on a Ford E-450 chassis, had multiple problems in recent years. The fire department needed to replace a number of parts, including the fuel pump relay, fuel rail, EGR cooler hose and adapter, heater tube assembly, radiator, turbocharger, front springs, and ball joints.

In addition, the ambulance chassis is overweight on the front end and the motor experienced heat build-up issues leading to continued failures in the turbocharger and fuel system. Ford has stopped making this ambulance chassis line, Sewell said.

“It breaks down a lot,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of confidence in this ambulance.”

The 2005 unit was covered by warranties, Sewell said. But most of the mechanical problems started after the warranties expired.

Flossmoor has one other ambulance, and has a shared reserve ambulance with the Homewood and Hazel Crest fire departments.

In the past, the fire department has attempted to stay with a 16-year cycle for ambulances. Sewell said that the new ambulance is likely to follow a 12-year cycle.

Sewell said the current fire department budget contains $220,000 that can be used for the ambulance purchase. In addition, he requested $76,035 to cover the full cost of the ambulance; that amount will come from a special fire paramedic equipment fund established by a donation from resident Donna Hendrickson.

The additional $30,000 will go to the Electronic Patient Care Reporting software, tablets and accessories, which allows the Flossmoor Fire Department to send patient reports electronically. The department electronically interfaces with its records software as well as the ambulance billing company.

Village board members unanimously approved Sewell’s request.

Flossmoor will receive a $3,000 pre-payment discount toward the purchase of the new ambulance.

The 2005 unit is to be sold through a third party once the new ambulance is received from the local Osage dealer, North Central Emergency Vehicles in Plainfield.


Contact Tom Houlihan at [email protected]