ASHLAND – When the Ashland Rescue Department heads out on an emergency call, it is likely someone in the district will need them again before they can get back from the first call.
“A lot of times were have multiple calls, or multiple patients,” said longtime department member Mike Meyer.
That’s why the department has two rescue squads. Recently, the backup squad experienced “major mechanical failure,” forcing the department to purchase a new unit.
“So we can provide emergency medical services to the community when one squad is gone,” Meyer said.
The backup unit has been out of service for about three months, said Meyer. As a result, the department has had to rely on Greenwood or Yutan for mutual aid.
“That puts a bind on the community,” said member Tiffany Alcorn.
Due to the time crunch to get a second squad up and running, the department was not able to purchase a fully customized unit like they did in 2016. It takes six to eight months to complete a fully-customized unit, said member Chad Hart.
“We didn’t have the opportunity to build this,” he said.
Instead, they chose a stock unit, which Rescue Captain Bradley Pfeiffer called a “fresh demo.” They put the new squad in service on Oct. 28.
Alcorn said they were able to make some modifications to the new squad so it would match the department’s main squad.
“We wanted to set it up as closely as possible so it’s easy to use for providers,” she said.
The decals and lights on the exterior are also designed to match the other squad, said Pfeiffer.
The new rig cost $227,000. A large chunk of the bill was paid for with $98,753 that was left to the department by the late William Grauerholz of Memphis in his will. The department also used donations made in the past that have been kept in the Ashland Community Foundation.
Donations are continually needed by the rescue department to purchase new equipment.
“Down the road, (we) are going to have to invest heavily in equipment,” said Hart. “We’ve got to keep up with the science behind what we do.”
Alcorn said state protocols are changing, forcing departments to buy new equipment.
“Everything we use has an expiration date,” added Meyer.