MASON COUNTY — Four new Wheeled Coach ambulances will be on the road this week in Mason County thanks to a levy passed by voters in the November 2020 election.
The custom made vehicles arrived Friday, and according to Elisabeth Lloyd, Mason County EMS director, they will be distributed throughout the county. Two will be based in Point Pleasant, with one each at Mason and Apple Grove. The ambulances will be paid for with funds the EMS receives from the levy.
“When the voters passed the levy, we wanted them to have something to show for it,” Lloyd said.
The new vehicles will replace all of the full-time, front line ones at each EMS station. One of the ambulances being replaced has over 300,000 miles. While some older model vehicles will be kept (at least one back-up for every front line ambulance), others will later be sold, according to the director.
It might take the public a little time to become familiar with the new vehicles, however. They are not the traditional white ambulances with the red and blue accents. The new ones are silvery gray marked with a large blue EMS symbol, along with red and white accents.
“We are rebranding,” Lloyd said. “We are a different agency than we were five or ten years ago. It is time for a change and we want the county to know we are one to be proud of, one that’s moving forward.”
Another big difference in the new ambulances is that they are equipped with power loaded cots. The cots not only raise and lower, but are also power loaded into the vehicle. Lloyd said back problems are the number one medical issue among EMS workers and the vehicles should save the county money from fewer workers’ compensation claims.
On Monday, EMS crews were busy stocking the ambulances in preparation for the state inspection that must be passed prior to putting the vehicles on the road. Lloyd said workers were going over every detail.
“When an ambulance shows up for someone in Mason County, we want them to feel like a family member just showed up, and know that they are doing their very best,” Lloyd added. “We want to treat everyone like family.”
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.