Morenci Area EMS receives $123,500 ambulance grant 02.23.2011

Written by David Green.

A $130,000 ambulance for $6,500?

Sounds like a good deal to Morenci Area EMS coordinator Larry Weeks. His request for funding through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program was approved last week.

The Morenci Area EMS grant of $123,500 is part of $1.4 million shared by nine Michigan agencies in the latest round of funding.

The grant requires a five percent local match of $6,500.

“It really puts us in a better position down the road,” Weeks said.

The news brings relief to EMS board members who faced the prospect of having to borrow the money to replace a 1997 model. That ambulance currently serves as a backup unit and the newer 2003 ambulance will be moved to reserve status when the new unit arrives. The industry standard for longevity is 10 years, Weeks said.

Weeks expects to attend a trade show with station supervisor Dan Sallows and assistant Chad Corbin to look over various models and select a manufacturer. They will then work on the design specifications.

Weeks said it’s possible to buy a “cookie-cutter” model for a cheaper price, but they don’t contain all the safety features that he wants the unit to possess.

Delivery of the new ambulance is probably a year away.

The grant allows the EMS board to continue saving funds for the next ambulance purchase, Weeks said.

“We’ve had some positive years recently and this will keep us on that road,” he said.

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