New ambulance purchase approved in Northampton

Published 5:19 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2021

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JACKSON – Northampton County EMS Director Paul Nowell presented bids to the Board of Commissioners in an effort to purchase a new ambulance for the department.

The commissioners granted that request at their regular meeting here on Nov. 1 with a unanimous vote. Commissioners Kelvin Edwards motioned to approve the lowest bid and Joyce Buffalo provided the second.

Before the vote, Nowell explained the need for the new vehicle, saying his department had taken a 14-year-old truck out of service since repairs had become more costly than replacement.

“This [new] truck will be located on the west end of Northampton County, at our Henrico station which has not had a truck replacement since 2015,” he continued.

Due to supply chain issues, however, Nowell noted that it would be next spring before they received the new vehicle. But if they waited, it could be up to two years before they were able to secure another vehicle.

“We need not put this off. This is something we need,” agreed Board Chair and Interim County Manager Charles Tyner.

Of the three bids received, the lowest one was submitted by Northwestern Emergency Vehicles for a 2022 model Ford E-450 Type III ambulance. The total cost will be $208,000, which includes the costs of title, tags, and tax.

The current budget already had $110,000 set aside for a vehicle purchase. Later during the meeting, the commissioners unanimously approved a budget amendment for the remaining $98,000. Those funds came from the county’s Fund Balance.

The commissioners previously approved a purchase request for a new ambulance in September 2020. Before that in 2019 they approved bids twice to remount a new chassis onto an older ambulance.