Wilton welcomes new ambulance
There’s a new ride in town and it belongs to the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
The corps put into service on Oct. 4 a new rig that is comprised of a Ford F550 truck with an ambulance “box” by LifeLine of Iowa. It cost $237,755 that was paid for with patient billings and donations from Wilton residents and businesses. No taxpayer money was used for the purchase.
The corps keeps two ambulances in service, each for about eight years, buying a new one every four years. With that timetable, the corps puts away $60,000 a year.
This ambulance was purchased about six months early due to problems with the old one, a 2012 model that was sold to the Baker City Fire EMS in Oregon for $45,000.
The new model is similar to the corps’ other ambulance in that it has liquid spring suspension for a smoother ride and is four-wheel drive with both drop-down chains and full chains. It runs on diesel fuel and gets about 7 mpg. The corps kept the power loader stretcher system from the ambulance it sold.
New on this model are three backup cameras instead of one and one large oxygen bottle which is easier to refill than the two smaller oxygen bottles on the other ambulance. These oxygen bottles are housed in a cabinet on the outside of the ambulance with hoses running inside.
The corps rotates its ambulances, keeping one in its garage — because they both don’t fit — and one at fire headquarters.
New fly car
The corps has also received a new fly car — which the town owns and shares with Weston — for use by paramedics.
The fly car is a 2019 Ford Expedition that cost $56,500, with Wilton paying 64.9 percent and Weston 35.1 percent. The cost is split based on the number of calls for each town. The corps responded to 1,403 calls in Wilton last year, although paramedics are not required on every call.
The town buys a fly car every six to eight years and this one was delayed two years because of budget issues with Weston, WVAC president John Miscioscia said.
The towns had budgeted $65,900 but the corps sold its old fly car for $7,000 and received loyalty discounts from the dealer.
The fly car carries four radios to monitor Wilton, Weston, Georgetown and Norwalk, as well as a Lifepak 15 heart monitor and defibrillator, portable suction, an intubation kit with a camera for opening someone’s airway, as well as narcotics and medications that cannot be administered by an EMT.