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Collinsville Fire Department gets new addition to fleet

The Collinsville Fire Department has added a new state-of-the art ambulance to their fleet of emergency vehicles, which will offer some of the most cutting-edge life saving technology available. Photo courtesy of the City of Collinsville.

By Devese “Dee” Ursery

In its 45th year of Emergency Medical Service transport service, the Collinsville Fire Department has added a new state-of-the art ambulance to their fleet of  emergency vehicles, replacing a 2007 ambulance that has outlived its service time. 

The new addition brings the department ambulance fleet to three

The 2022 AEV (American Emergency Vehicle) Traumahawk Type-1 ambulance was introduced into the Station 2 fleet in early January. The new ambulance was purchased from American Response Vehicles (ARV) out of Columbia, Missouri for the amount of $266.395, with the trade-in of their oldest ambulance.

Randy Barr, director of sales for AEV said the rig built for Collinsville is an XA series Traumahawk on a Ford F-550, 4×4 truck chassis. The new ambulance has a 176-inch cab, 96-inch wide body with 74 inches of headroom. He also noted that the rig is powered by a 6.7 liter diesel engine, has a liquid spring rear suspension. Also it  carries an 18,000-pound gross  vehicle weight rating and has power doors and locks with a keyless entry system.

Barr said the Traumahawk has additional insulation in the body walls and floors to provide sound deadening. He also said the interior of the box has ducted HVAC in the ceiling, a digital thermostat, aluminum cabinets, usb outlet and all seating positions are protected by Per4Max four-point seat harnesses.

CFD Chief, John Bailot said the new ambulance allows paramedics to perform pre-hospital protocols to serve the community. He also said that not only does the Traumahawk have more room to provide better patient care, it also has telemedicine and video technology. This will allow paramedics to communicate with hospitals and doctors where they can give input on a patient’s care.

The new ambulance allows paramedics to perform pre-hospital protocols, has more room to provide better patient care and telemedicine and video technology, allowing paramedics to communicate with hospitals and doctors. Photo by Devese “Dee” Ursery

Bailot said that the Collinsville Fire Truck Committee made a number of changes to the new rig when compared to its previous ambulance. “We moved to a type 1 truck chassis from a Type 3 van chassis,” he says. 

“We envision having an available arm with either a small tablet or a cell phone where doctors can actually see and talk to the patient,” Bailot said.

Bailot explained the switch from a van to a truck chassis was because of its longevity, adding “we’re hoping now that  an ambulance will last us now about 10 years.” He said that you can get more mileage from a truck chassis than a van chassis and that van chassises were overloaded. 

The fire department provides emergency medical services to Collinsville and the adjacent Collinsville Fire Protection District.

“We’re a very busy department,” Bailot said. “We run over 3,000 ambulance calls a year, so we put a lot of miles on our ambulances.”

Bailot said that the new ambulance has a higher box compartment than ambulances would normally have, making it a little bit wider. He said that makes the patient-care compartment more open and allows for more paramedics in there.

“Oftentimes when we have a critical patient there are usually three to four paramedics working on that patient to help save their life.”

Bailot said they have a door-forward design on the Traumahawk which is a side door that is at the front of the box compartment. He said this design opens up more room in the back.

The new ambulance also has a power lift and power cot system that assists paramedics with loading and unloading patients.  

Lighting on the Traumahawk includes Whelen LED warning lights and scene lighting, Daybright cabinet lights in the patient box, LED rope lighting in all compartments. It also has LED skirt rail and ground lighting.

“This new addition will help the department provide our residents and patients with excellent care for years to come,” Bailot said.

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