Northampton recycles ailing ambulance

Published 10:24 am Thursday, May 21, 2009

JACKSON — The remounting work to a 2002 ailing ambulance has been approved here.

On Monday, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners approved a $68,359 bid from Northwestern Emergency Vehicles to remount the 2002 Ford ambulance on a 2009 G3500 Chevrolet/GMC cutaway van cab/chassis.

According to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Director Chuck Joyner, the MedTech ambulance has been having mechanical issues as well as a reoccurring oil leak for the past year.

Joyner said the vehicle currently has more than 170,000 miles on it and is being used for backup in emergency calls.

Three companies were contacted for the remounting work, including Northwestern Emergency Vehicles, Southeastern Specialty Vehicles and Wheeled Coach of North Carolina.

Only two submitted a bid. Northwestern Emergency Vehicles presented $68,359 bid while Southeastern Specialty Vehicles proposed to perform the work for $65,019. Wheeled Coach of North Carolina did not submit a bid.

Joyner recommended the board approve the work to be done by Northwestern Emergency Vehicles as Southeastern Specialty Vehicles did not have a 2009 G3500 159” cab available. Funding for the work will come from capital reserve.

Commissioner Virginia Spruill question Joyner about the oil leaks.

Joyner said over the past year, EMS has spent $5,000 to $6,000 on the vehicle and has taken it to be repaired at three different garages, including the county Public Works Department and two local private businesses.

Joyner said despite the repairs the vehicle would develop another oil leak in a different area.

“Do you trust this vehicle,” asked Commissioner James Hester.

Joyner said currently he did, but would not trust it in another 100,000 miles.

Hester motioned to approve the recommendation from EMS; Spruill offered a second. The motion passed without objection.