November 27, 2004

Mobile Response Vehicle improves emergency coverage for western Dryden

Dryden Ambulance held a dedication ceremony for its new Mobile Response Vehicle and four new heart monitors at the Varna Fire Station yesterday.

Mobile Response Vehicle
The new Mobile Response Vehicle.

Clayton Bronson, Director of Operations, gave a presentation outlining the new equipment and plans for using it. He started by thanking the Town Board, the fire companies, and the boards of the fire companies for cooperating on this project.

Bronson said that the ambulance company responds to about 1200 calls per year, possibly more this year, with staffing of 1.5 crews. The Mobile Response Vehicle is designed to let the ambulance company cover the western end of town more effectively without the costs and staffing requirements of a full new ambulance. The vehicle was paid for out of existing funds for a new ambulance, and the company will be getting the new ambulance in January. They managed to squeeze the truck in on that budget by buying a used vehicle (11,000 miles) from Stafford Chevrolet and reusing demo parts for the interior of the truck.

Mobile Response Vehicle equipment
Clayton Bronson shows the first-response equipment in the new Mobile Response Vehicle.

The vehicle carries packs of equipment for adult and pediatric emergencies, and has a ceramic heater on board to keep the drugs from getting too cold. It also carries a half backboard and a case of water.

On weekdays, the new vehicle will 'float' on the western side of town, using the Etna and Varna fire stations as a base. The vehicle can provide first responder services on this side of town, or move further east if the ambulance service is called out elsewhere. It will be toned out with the Etna and Varna fire departments to provide additional rescue assistance to the fire companies. At night, the truck goes home with a driver who carries a pager. The company has this fully scheduled through December, except for Sunday nights, which they're working on. They have also been very happy with the volunteer driver turnout for the ambulances lately.

After describing the vehicle, Bronson turned the floor over to Brian Brooks of Phillips Medical, maker of the new HeartStart monitors. The monitors weigh 17 pounds, down from 27 pounds for their predecessors, and combine two kinds of monitors for basic and advanced cardiac emergencies, including defibrillation capabilities. The ambulance company has been using a demonstration unit for the past three months, and has now bought four of them at around $14,000 each, which sounds like a considerably better price than other area companies got.

New heart monitor
New heart monitor.

During the reception, Town Supervisor Steve Trumbull and Town Councilman Steve Stelick took the opportunity to see the generator the Varna Volunteer Fire Company had recently installed, one of several one-time expenditures in last year's budget.

New generator at VVFC
Firefighter Duane Testut, Supervisor Trumbull, and Councilman Stelick look over the new generator at the Varna Fire Station.

Firefighter Duane Testut fired up the propane-fueled generator, and explained their capabilities. The storage tanks onsite hold two days' fuel, and the propane company will bring additional fuel in the event of an extended power outage. Varna Chief Roy Rizzo praised the generator as a major improvement, especially in situations like ice storms where the fire company is enormously busy and needs a base that works even when the power is out.

I've posted more pictures of the morning event.

Posted by simon at November 27, 2004 10:36 AM in
Note on photos