By Matt de Simone
Last week, the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of a new ambulance. Fire & EMS Chief Jason Ferguson proposed the purchase at the Board of Supervisors meeting in Daleville.
Botetourt County’s fleet of ambulances consists of 11 vehicles in the system. Some of the determining factors in asking for new ambulances include age, mileage, and maintenance records. If a vehicle is down for an extended period, that becomes one that needs replacing. Out of the nine ambulances used daily, five have over 104,000 miles. At the time of Ferguson’s proposal, one ambulance was over 127,000 miles.
“Our average vehicle age is between that four- and six-year mark,” Ferguson explained. “We do have one Buchanan ambulance that is newer. It’s about 2 years old. We started a cadence of having a new ambulance in the regular budget each year as a part of a regular request.”
Initially, Botetourt Fire & EMS programmed the new ambulance into the FY21 budget as a request, and then COVID struck. Ferguson explained that due to the concerns about what the revenues may do with the pandemic, the county held off on purchasing a new ambulance. To bridge the gap, Ferguson asked the Board of Supervisors last week to consider purchasing the new ambulance.