By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times
With the total amount of emergency calls trending up each year, Cullman Fire Rescue hopes to purchase a small used fire engine soon that can be used to answer the crush of medical calls.
The department currently sends a fire engine to every call, including medical emergencies. Fire chief Edward Reinhardt, Jr. said he believes getting a smaller truck in service could help response time and significantly cut down on wear and tear on the larger, more expensive fire engines.
Reinhardt’s staff has identified a potential used vehicle that could be a good fit. Called a Ford F-450 “Jack Rabbit,” the proposed truck could be equipped with medical call response equipment, plus back up the larger trucks as-needed on fire calls. The vehicle is estimated to cost approximately $50,000-$60,000. The department has officially asked the Cullman city council for approval to purchase the truck, and the department is now negotiating the deal.
“For us it could mean a quicker response, because sometimes you can’t get a big truck into all area,” Reinhardt said. “With this truck we would run EMTs on it and it would cut down on fuel costs as well as wear and tear on the larger trucks.”
The overall amount of calls increased from 900 in 2011 to well over 1,000 in 2012. Reinhardt said his department received 780 medical calls alone last year.
The fire department has yet to decide exactly where the medical response vehicle would be stationed, but Reinhardt said it would be used city-wide.
“We would use that to cover medical calls,” he said. “We think it could be a good thing to save money and provide faster response to those calls.”
Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.