New rig hits the road



SPECULATOR -- Speculator Volunteer Ambulance Corps' new ambulance responded to its first call April 13.

It arrived April 9 and was put into service April 12 after several days of preparation. Everything had to be moved from one ambulance to the other: literally hundreds of items from large, such as the gurney, to small, right down to alcohol wipes.

The radio had to be removed and reinstalled; equipment such as oxygen tanks, heart monitor / defibrillator, pulse oximeter and suction machines moved in and hooked up; doors, a myriad of drawers and bins labeled with their contents; decals applied and more. It's a big job.

The new ambulance was ordered from LifeLine Emergency Vehicles in Sumner, Iowa. It is built on a 2014 Chevrolet chassis and features state-of-the-art electronics and power train.

"We have been in the habit of replacing our vehicle about every eight years," SVAC Captain Phil Mulleedy says. "SVAC felt it necessary to acquire a new vehicle in 2014, in order to ensure reliable, trouble free service.

"Our previous ambulance was built on a 2006 Ford chassis, had over 93,000 miles of service and was beginning to need special attention.

"Large commercial ambulance services have multiple vehicles and in-house repair service. Since this is not the case with us, it is important for SVAC to take every reasonable step to ensure reliable, uninterrupted service."

The ambulance was paid for entirely by donations. The corps does not receive any tax money.