Snohomish buys new ambulances

SNOHOMISH — Two shiny, new ambulances recently joined the city fire department’s fleet.

“We’ll be much more efficient with these new ambulances,” said Snohomish Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief John Hinchcliffe. “It will be a much more comfortable ride for our patients.”

The vehicles were ordered from South Carolina to replace two old units, Deputy Chief Ron Simmons said. They are spacious and equipped with advanced life support devices for treatments such as administering intravenous medicine. “You don’t get by with just the simple stuff anymore,” Simmons said.

The cars cost the fire department $163,000 apiece. Like everything else these days, ambulances went up in price, he said.

The department has three medic vehicles running at this time, Simmons said.

The two old units are up for sale. “Right now, in today’s economy, there’s not too many people buying old aid cars,” Simmons said. “We’ll take as much as someone’s willing to pay.”

There is a market for used ambulances out there, Simmons said. Plumbers and other repair technicians use them, and Simmons has even heard of a mobile tattoo parlor set up in one.

A fire department in Mexico and another one in Central America called asking if Snohomish would donate the ambulances, Simmons said. The department may look into that as well.

It’s common for smaller, rural fire departments to buy used equipment, especially engines, Simmons said.

Before the advent of 911, aid cars lasted between eight and 15 years, Simmons said. They are running a lot more miles now and last between five and eight years, he said.

Crews went through training to get accustomed to the rigs, Simmons said. “We are going to have a lot more reliable service.”

Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452,

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