NEWPORT CITY â€“ Question: Whatâ€™s blue, white, yellow, and comes with flashing lights? Answer: Newport Ambulance Serviceâ€™s newest ambulance.
The 2012, Ford E-450 chassis with a Demers box arrived in Newport yesterday. Demers made the box at the Beloeil, Quebec, factory.
The new ambulance replaces Newport Ambulance #2, made in 2003, that got into an accident on the Causeway last November.
â€śIt was damaged beyond repair,â€ť said Jay Wood, divisional manager for Newport Ambulance Service. â€śThatâ€™s why we got another one.â€ť
Newport Ambulance Service was not scheduled to receive a new ambulance right now. However, the board of directors have made it so the service gets a new ambulance every year for the next seven or eight years. Depending on the need, the next ambulance may go to Newport Ambulance Serviceâ€™s division in Johnson or Newport City.
The engine is gas instead of diesel. According to Wood, this is a significant change. The board of directors became convinced gas is the better way to go, Wood said.
â€śWe have had a lot of experience with diesels, but weâ€™re trying a different kind of chassis to find out if it is better for maintenance and long term success,â€ť said Wood. â€śWeâ€™re not sure, but weâ€™re going to try it.â€ť
The new ambulance has updated electronics, which, according to Wood, is a major advantage to the serviceâ€™s previous ambulance. Thereâ€™s a compartment where maintenance personnel can work on electrical problems and can connect a lap top computer to send data to the manufacturer to get expert opinions.
The exterior of the ambulance has reflective yellow and blue lines on the back.Â
â€śIt is definitely becoming the standard for both daytime and nighttime visibility,â€ť said Wood. â€śAll of our ambulances will follow this.â€ť
The new ambulance also has a backup camera on the back and a monitor in the cab.Â
Newport Ambulance Service will use the ambulance for traditional calls and transporting patients from one hospital to the other.
The new ambulance cost about $110,000. About half of the money came from a special account and the rest came from financing. The amount, said Wood, is a good price for a good quality unit.
The ambulance will probably not be in service until at least next week. Once that happens, Newport Ambulance Service will have four units in Newport.