The City and County of Honolulu’s Emergency Medical Services Division will be introducing new vehicles to its fleet, with some replacing heavily used vehicles.
EMS said it held a small blessing at Keehi Lagoon Beach Park today for four Ford F-350 ambulances, two emergency medical operational vehicles, a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Unit, and a Disaster Response-1 vehicle.
The ambulances, at a cost of $250,000, will replace others that have been driven more than 300,000 miles and will be switched out with older vehicles in Wahiawa, Kaneohe, Aiea and Waialua by the end of the month.
“Our ambulances are under constant use, literally some of our ambulances can go days without the engine being turned off, so we are constantly having to cycle in and replenish those,” said Honolulu EMS Acting Chief Chris Sloman in a statement. “These ambulances are going to be going to all different parts of the island and replacing ambulances that are at the end of their service life, so that we can take them out and we’ll use them as reserves for the next few years.”
New features of the ambulances — for increased safety from COVID-19 and other airborne diseases — include “ultraviolet decontamination lights, dual air conditioning compressors, and barrier doors with windows separating the cab from the back of the ambulances,” EMS said.
The CBRNE Unit, which costs $295,000, is a “multi-purpose vehicle that is equipped to monitor mass gatherings” and includes a meeting area itself, infrared and night cameras and an on-board generator.
The Disaster Response-1 is a vehicle that transports supplies for disasters and mass casualties.