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Board okays used ambulance purchase
Med-Care Director of Operations Dean Milligan shows board members the used ambulance they later approved for purchase. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
MEXICO -- The Med-Care Board of Directors gave approval to purchase a used ambulance at their meeting last Wednesday.
With a $1.76-million facility nearing completion, the directors admitted the timing wasn't very good. However, Treasurer Jim Pulsifer noted, "We have to run the operation. We're taking frugal responsibility and buying a used ambulance on a normal schedule.
They purchased a 2003 ambulance from PL Custom Ambulance for a cost of $28,000 less a $5,000 trade-in of their 1998 ambulance. Directors also approved spending up to $10,000 for painting and detailing, for a total cost of $33,000.
Director of Operations Dean Milligan said, "I talked to Steve (Brown, board president) and Jim (Pulsifer) when it came available and I'll be the first to concede that, sitting in the middle of this project, that this is definitely not the most opportune time that this ambulance came available. But looking at the $13,000 maintenance that we spent on the ambulance over the last two years that it's going to replace, a 1998 that can't be remounted and has been fully depreciated and scheduled to be replaced in 2013."
"It's my recommendation that we still take this opportunity. I know we have this big capital project, but we still have to stay focused on the operational side, too," he said, adding that money had been alotted for this.
Milligan said this used ambulance is "in ammaculate condition" with 49,300. It was being used by a small ambulance company in Harmony that made average only about 150 calls per year. He pointed out that a new ambulance would cost about $170,000.
A couple board members inquired about how the member towns would react to the timing of the purchase.
Brown said, "We're not adding an additional ambulance. This is replacing a problem one with another used one. This is about an inexpensive as you can replace an ambulance."
"I just want to make it clear, our strategy in keeping modern, up to date ambulances, in good condition, is to buy high-quality used ambulances that we can run for a few years, and then remount that good box on a new chassis and run it for some more years because we're not the kind of service that can go out and buy brand new ambulances," he noted.
"It's not going to break the bank," said Pulsifer. "But one of the things we do have to watch for. We're making some big strides forward, with the building and other things, and we may have to, at some point, slow down a bit on our replacement schedule. It depends on what the economy does. It depends upon what Obama does.
"But we need to do this," he added.
Milligan said that after this, the next ambulance from their fleet of six is not slated to be replaced for another two years.