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Metro West adds ambulance at Wildwood station

Chris Merrill is one of the Metro West firefighter/paramedics who will use the fire protection district’s new ambulance. [Jim Erickson photo]

The Metro West Fire Protection has put into service a new ambulance at its Engine House NO. 5 just north of Hwy. 100 in Wildwood.

The advanced life support vehicle was acquired as a direct result of voter approval for a 17-cent increase in the district’s ambulance fund tax levy late in 2017.

Adding the ambulance brings the number of such vehicles in service to five. The move is designed to provide care faster to Wildwood and the growing population in the west end of the Metro West district.

The ambulance will be staffed 24/7 by two firefighter-paramedics during each of the district’s three shifts.  Adding the six personnel required for that staffing level also gives Metro West greater flexibility in responding to other emergency calls either in the district or elsewhere as part of its mutual aid agreements with nearby first responder entities.

Similar to other emergency vehicles in the Metro West fleet, the ambulance is built on a Ford F-550 chassis by Horton Emergency Vehicles, based in Grove City, Ohio. It is powered by a diesel V-8 engine.

In addition to its $220,000 price tag, the vehicle contains about $100,000 worth of emergency medical equipment. Included is a heart monitor that can capture an image of a patient’s heart and transmit it to the hospital where doctors can view it before the patient arrives.

Metro West has five ambulances in service and two others in reserve.

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