FREDERICKTOWN — The Fredericktown Emergency Medical Service has a new squad that has up-to-date features.
For the first time, a four-wheel drive truck chassis is being used on a Ford F-450 Super Duty truck. EMS Chief Rick Lanuzza said he feels four-wheel drive is better in inclement weather than chains on the rear wheels, which have been used for a number of years. Heavy bars in front of the headlights and grille protect the front end against possible deer strikes.
The interior of the squad has been designed for the safety of medics riding in moving vehicles. There are four seats, all with seat belts, and air bags in key areas to protect medics in the event of a rollover.
Radios used by the medics to communicate with the hospital have microphones on both side walls. An advanced design cot and a stair chair enable medics to safely handle patients. The cot, which will support up to 750 pounds, has an electric lift to raise the patient and slide him or her into the squad. The stair chair has caterpillar-type tracks that allow it to be eased down a stair by one person, with the patient belted into the seat.
Air springs on the rear of the squad lower the floor, to assist in loading patients. All of this, Lanuzza said, is for patient safety and the safety of the medical crew.
The new squad was built by the Horton Co. of Grove City at a cost of $170,000. It was paid for out of operating funds of the department. The new squad replaces a 2001 squad, which will be sold.