Some Albany ambulances have over 100,000 miles. Not only is it a bumpy ride for a patient.. but it can also be an unreliable ride as well.
Paramedics in Dougherty County are on the road 24/7. Any call may be a matter of life or death, so reliable transportation is a necessity for paramedics.
"No one wants to hear the battery was dead, or we have to send a truck from another station because their truck wouldn't crank," said EMS Director Greg Rowe.
On average, paramedics respond to 21,000 calls a year in the county. "Over fifty percent of our calls are emergency to the scene and emergency back to the hospital that's hard driving on those trucks," said Rowe.
Which means a lot of wear and tear is put on these emergency vehicles. Today commissioners approved the purchase of two new Ambulances. Every year they replace two Ambulances so they always have back up options.
"We're good with what we do, but we have to be able to get to you to perform those skills. The new vehicles are more fuel efficient, quieter and provide a smoother ride for patients," said Rowe.
"I've had some describe it as riding in a stage coach. Which makes an unpleasant situation even worse. A lot of folks to realize the intensity of the bounce, especially when they're injured or have a fracture."
Paramedics are looking forward to replacing these two vehicles. The two vehicles that will be replaced will become surplus, which means if a truck is in shop they have extra vehicles they can use. The newer vehicles in the fleet have already proven to be more cost efficient. They've cut back on maintenance costs, which means they will be kept in service rather than in the shop.
Ambulances are only built a few times a year, so EMS officials don't know when they will get their new vehicles.