Washington County Commissioners are pleased to announce the delivery of five new ambulances to the following fire departments; Enterprise, Santa-Clara-Ivins, Hildale, and Hurricane Valley. The ambulances were secured in 2020 with CARES Act funding and are now being delivered today.
Washington County has a strong tradition of working together with its municipalities and communities to provide important emergency services and this purchase is in line with that historical tradition. These ambulances became critical as a backup to the already existing ambulances due the new restriction developed during the pandemic which required each ambulance to be sanitized before the transport of another citizen.
“This will save lives across our county and provide critical backup for our emergency service providers,” states Commissioner Gil Almquist. “As we were dealing with the effects of the pandemic as a county commission, we felt it absolutely necessary to provide this important infrastructure to keep our citizens safe and healthy.”
“This has been a long time coming,” continues Commissioner Almquist, “We recognized our residents need for more than one ambulance in various areas. With the Covid-19 protocol, an ambulance transporting an infected individual requires decontamination turn-around time. We want immediate backup availability to residents who may be in need in that area.”
The Covid-19 pandemic increased ambulance call volume and increased the time it takes for an ambulance to become available to respond to additional emergency callout. For example, an ambulance transporting a patient with Covid-19 must be taken out of service for decontamination procedures prior to transporting another citizen. The decontamination process may take as long as one hour.
Providing our public ambulance transport agencies with an additional front-line ambulance will allow them to respond to additional emergencies while their remaining ambulance is undergoing decontamination.
The Washington County Commission was instrumental in establishing the Washington County Medical Surge compact. The compact provides equipment along with the necessary inter-local agreements with other agencies and medical service providers to assist the county in preparation for a medical event(s) which exceed the county’s current medical treatment capacity.
The ambulances remain the property of Washington County and are a key component to the Medical Surge Compact. This will provide critical medical transport capabilities anywhere in the county in the event the medical surge compact is activated- for example the rapid surge we experienced in the Covid-19 Pandemic onset.
Commissioner Almquist and Chief Tom Kuhlmann are scheduled to personally drive and deliver the 5 ambulances this week to the following locations:
Monday, June 13- Hildale and Hurricane (2)
Tuesday, June 14- Santa Clara-Ivins
Wednesday, June 15- Enterprise