Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
For the first time since its municipalization, Washington County Ambulance has acquired a new vehicle, which a committee of paramedics customized for the county’s needs.
“When you order an ambulance, they’ll have standard layouts, but that always comes up with problems,” Paramedic Supervisor Bret Carlson said. “With a standard one you don’t get to build it to your specifications … where the monitor is can really make a difference, where your oxygen hookups are really makes a difference. We carry different supplies from what (other) counties may carry.”
Carlson said plans of an ambulance customized for the county had been in the works since it took over the service last year.
“You kind of get the feel for what the service needs,” he said. “You spec out everything from the inside, the layout on the outside, where you want the compartment doors … it takes months, really, just to get one put together, then you have to reach out to different manufacturers.”
Carlson said the truck would replace the highest-mileage ambulance in the county’s five-car fleet. While it ran for the high price of $250,000, he said the fully tricked out vehicle would immensely help the service.
“We built this one specifically with the future in mind, so it’s built to be relevant in 10-15 years, all the technology and everything it’s built with will be really serviceable,” Carlson said. “Otherwise it gets really expensive to repair and maintain.”
In addition to its abundance of safety features and top-of-the-line medical equipment, the ambulance comes with its own custom paint job, a mark of the county’s design.
“The typical design a lot of counties have has the typical white and orange,” said Paramedic Jordan Wright, who designed the visual effect. “We wanted something that stood out that said, ‘Hey, that’s Washington County’s stripe,’ without even seeing the name on the side of it … it’s a new service, so we wanted to have something new, and that’s ours.”