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RANGELY — The Rangely District Hospital has a new ambulance.
The new 2008 Lifeline ambulance replaces an older unit. Ambulance director Shanna Kinney gave a tour of the new vehicle for the hospital board and the county commissioners and explained the operational details and spoke of the acquisition process.
The new unit is built on a Ford F-450 frame with four-wheel drive and a diesel power stroke engine with dual alternators and batteries to handle the required electrical power output.
The patient compartment has a lifetime structural guarantee to insure many years of service. For patient care and safety for them and the crew, many new features were incorporated, some of them being:
n A power lift gurney rated for 700 pounds will ensure stable patient transport and minimize strain to crew members,
n Dual compartment controls for lighting and HVAC allow operation from either side of a patient,
n Main and auxiliary oxygen systems are available and radio and operation controls that are more accessible while the driver is in transport.
The compartment can accommodate two patients, one on the main gurney and one on the “squad bench.”
A camera system that can monitor the passenger side exterior and rear of the unit for loading or backing up is automatically switched on by activating the turn signal or by shifting into reverse.
The system also has an compartment interior view and the views can be shifted manually by the driver.
Two separate lockable drug and supply boxes are installed — one with a standard key lock for basic care and the other for advanced life support that requires a keycode number.
Another transport feature is air ride stabilizers that engage when the rear doors are closed and release when the doors are opened to allow a lower platform for patient loading. An onboard power lift for heavy main oxygen tanks is also provided. In the event that a patient becomes violent or out of control, the drivers have a sliding, sealable partition to separate themselves from the compartment while they summon assistance.
Funding for the vehicle consisted of: $62,000 from the state, $46,000 from county CCITF, $37,000 from the RDH funds and a $2,500 donation from an area resident to total $147,500.
The Rangely Ambulance Association boasts 22 people including four drivers, 10 basic level medics and eight advanced life support members including four intermediate medics and four hospital nurses.