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New ambulance takes to the road

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By John Barnhart

    A career ambulance crew that has been using a borrowed ambulance, provided courtesy of the Montvale Rescue Squad, now has its own. According to Jack Jones, the county’s director of fire and rescue, the ambulance was purchased from money obtained from insurance billing, rather than tax money. This is the second county-owned ambulance put into service this year.

    One of the new ambulance’s features is a compartment to store firefighting gear as both members of the crew are cross trained as firefighters. Until now, they’ve stowed the gear on the borrowed ambulance.
    “They have been gracious hosts,” said Jones of the rescue squads that host a career crew. “That’s why it works in Bedford County.”
    Jones said that career ambulance crews were hired at the request of the volunteer organizations because they had asked for help. He said that employers have been less willing to let employees leave during the work day to answer calls and more people now work outside the county. This made it difficult to staff ambulances with volunteers during weekdays. There are now four career-crewed ambulances on duty each weekday, each supporting three volunteer rescue squads. This number drops to two career-crewed ambulances at night and on weekends.