New ambulances a big hit
Irwin Ambulance's recently acquired new Osage ambulances help emergency responders provide better care and transportation for patients.
“The staff really like them. They like the fact that there's more space,” said paramedic and former operations supervisor Jim McKinnon. “They like the rides. The rides are much smoother than the older trucks. We've gotten a good reception from the patients that know the old ambulances. (The ambulances are) working out very well for us.”
The Osage ambulances have a Ford F450 Super Duty chassis with a box truck build, and the latest technology and equipment available to paramedics and EMTs.
McKinnon said there were many upgrades going from a van-style ambulance to a box truck.
“The van chassis had a limited weight restriction to them,” McKinnon said. “We were tight on what we could do safety wise for weight. These have a much higher weight restriction because it's a bigger, more robust chassis ... On top of that it has heavier braking systems.”
One of the most useful features is a battery-powered stretcher, which lessens the strain on lifters and allows for smoother transportations of patients to and from the ambulance.
The ambulances also have a second-patient transport platform, a hard-wired global positioning system and backup cameras, highly reflective decals, an airbag suspension system and LED lights, which are brighter than previous lights and provide a smaller drain on the electric systems. Other materials are neatly stored.
Irwin Ambulance has 25 emergency responders from paid staff to volunteers. They respond to approximately 80 to 90 calls per month. The new vehicles were put in service on Oct. 9.
Purchasing the ambulances took about two years. Officials went to expos, and spoke with Murrysville Medic One responders who use Osage ambulances to determine if that company would be the right fit for Irwin Ambulance.
“We're hoping to see these trucks last us 10 years at least,” McKinnon said. “There are dozens of ambulance manufacturers throughout the country. We chose to go with this company because of the quality and build of the box, the safety provisions within the box and overall design for what we wanted.”
Irwin Ambulance traded in its 2003 van-style ambulances toward the purchase of the two 2012 vehicles at a price tag of $132,000 each.
Ambulances are being paid for through Westmoreland Hospital Employees Trust Fund, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency contributions, a 7-year $75,000 loan, and a “significant amount” of money from the defunct Jeannette Hospital Foundation, McKinnon said.
Funds from subscription drives and standard billings will continue to go toward operating costs, not paying for the vehicles, said McKinnon.
McKinnon said the ambulances also are painted with more traditional dark blue colors than the old white and blue ambulances.
“We've been operating continuously for more than 65 years, and the fire department itself has been operating since the 1870s,” McKinnon said. “This has been the tradition. The fire department's vehicles have always been the dark blue.”
Councilors got to see the new ambulances at this month's workshop meeting.
Councilman Bob Wayman said McKinnon did a great job.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Bubble players get last chance to impress Steelers
- Steelers accomplish mission to get younger, faster on defense
- 4-year-old transplant recipient Angelo Giorno from Derry on life support, family says
- Movement along the offensive line continues for Pitt as opener approaches
- Hacker stuns Dayton family with computer takeover
- Jeannette native Pryor’s fate hangs in balance
- Burrell-Valley rivalry matchup built on respect
- Valley News Dispatch/Leader Times Q&A: Armstrong’s Nate Baillie
- Valley will feature dynamic duo in Bradley, King
- MLB notebook: Fenway fan injured after trying to catch foul ball
- Don’t miss matchups for Week 1 of WPIAL football season