CRIME

Gonzales Fire Dept. takes delivery of new ambulance

Stephanie Hopkins
The Gonzales Fire Department took delivery of a new $120,000 ambulance Friday.

The Gonzales Fire Department took delivery of a new ambulance Friday, a few weeks sooner than expected.

The 2009 Ford E-450 model AEV constructed ambulance cost just under $120,000 and is to be used as the department's second primary ambulance for 911 service in the Gonzales city limits.

Fire Chief Tracey Normand said the new unit will be put into service by the end of the month.

“It will cut down response time by having a unit on each end of the city,” he said.

The north side of town will see response times cut basically in half with addition of the new unit, according to the chief.

The two units will be backed up with a reserve unit.

New features include a safety harness system for paramedics allowing the medic to provide treatment while still being seat belted in.

A blind spot camera system allows better visualization of the driver's blind spots.

An AC/DC air-conditioning unit will keep the patient's compartment climate controlled when unit is not running. This allows for the unit to stay cool when its hot outside for better treatment of hypothermic and hypothermic patients.

The Fire Department also plans to have the air-conditioning unit installed in its existing in- service ambulance.

The department hopes to have the new ambulance stocked and in service within two weeks.

Gonzales has been providing 911 ALS Ambulance transportation and treatment free to city residents for over two years, and will continue doing so, Normand said.

As the city grows the new ambulance will help the department continue providing the service for free, while keeping up with the demands of a growing community.

The new ambulance will also play a big part in helping the fire department keep up with demands of the city during disasters.

With hurricane season approaching June 1, the fire department will be more prepared to serve the city with all its emergency medical needs.