Starke County Council Weighs Ambulance Options

Members of the Starke County Council are considering their ambulance purchase options and may vote next month to buy a new vehicle for the county EMS. Last year they put $60,000 earmarked for the purchase of a new ambulance into the rainy day fund. A super-majority is required in order to authorize that money to be spent. It would only cover part of the cost for a replacement rig, as diesel trucks range in price from $80,000 for a new chassis with a refurbished box mounted on it to $150,000 for a completely new truck. Council President Dave Pearman says the crush specifications on the boxes change each year, so the savings could place the county in a precarious position should a refurbished truck ever be involved in a wreck. A third option is to buy a new unit with less than a couple thousand miles from a vendor that has offered the county a favorable price on such a vehicle. Based on the quote from Fire Service, Pearman says the county could get a truck that is essentially new for $108,000. Many of their vehicles are used at trade shows and elsewhere as demonstrator models. Pearman presented the three options to the council, and members opted to take them under advisement and make a decision later.