New Ambulance Makes a Statement

NEWPORT CITY – Question: What’s blue, white, yellow, and comes with flashing lights? Answer: Newport Ambulance Service’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.“It was damaged beyond repair,” said Jay Wood, divisional manager for Newport Ambulance Service. “That’s why we got another one.”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 Service’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.“We have had a lot of experience with diesels, but we’re trying a different kind of chassis to find out if it is better for maintenance and long term success,” said Wood. “We’re not sure, but we’re going to try it.”The new ambulance has updated electronics, which, according to Wood, is a major advantage to the service’s previous ambulance. There’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. “It is definitely becoming the standard for both daytime and nighttime visibility,” said Wood. “All of our ambulances will follow this.”The new ambulance also has a backup camera on the back and a monitor in the cab. 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.