Fulton County Commissioners have agreed to purchase a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe for ALS-1, part of a pilot program to test the use of sport-utility vehicles for county paramedics.
Fulton County provides ALS, or advanced life support, with paramedics. Paramedics are stationed in four Fulton County communities: Archbold, Wauseon, Delta, and Swanton.
Each has its own coverage areas that extend from the north to the south.
ALS-1, the paramedic unit based in Archbold, covers Archbold, Fayette and part of Pettisville.
For several years, ALS-1 has driven full-size ambulances to respond to calls.
The pilot program will test whether paramedics can respond to calls in sport-utility vehicles.
Rod Cheney, Fulton County EMS director, said SUVs promise to be more cost-effective.
They use less-expensive gasoline rather than diesel fuel, the fuel mileage is better than a full-size ambulance, and the gasoline engines are less expensive to maintain than diesels. Purchased
To test the use of SUVs, Dean Genter, Fulton County commissioner, said the commissioners have agreed to buy the Tahoe from Car 1, a used car dealer in Archbold.
Aaron Baus, of Car 1, said the vehicle, with about 56,000 miles on the odometer, had a purchase price of $24,700.
If the vehicle cost $25,000 or more, the commissioners would have had to gone through a bidding process.
Baus noted the Tahoe’s original manufacturer suggested retail price was $40,540.
The four-door vehicle is white with a 5.3-liter V-8 engine. It is equipped with four-wheel-drive.
Baus said as of last week, the vehicle had not been delivered.
ASP Electronics, Archbold, will install emergency lights, emergency vehicle markings (stripes, lettering, etc.), plus some other equipment. Bender Communications, Toledo, will install the radio package.
“We’re trying to keep everything local,” Genter said.
Cheney said the SUV will probably begin responding to calls in about two weeks. Funding
The ALS program is funded by a two-mill property tax levy.
The county Emergency Medical Service also bills patients for services, but if a Fulton County resident is transported by ambulance, the county will accept whatever amount the person’s medical insurance pays.