Excerpts from theintelligencer.com:

The Edwardsville Fire Department addressed the Public Safety Committee at Tuesday’s meeting to discuss the possibility of remounting or replacing an ambulance involved in a recent collision. Due to extensive damage, the ambulance was totaled.

Edwardsville Fire Department Captain James Whiteford said currently the department and the insurance company are trying to figure out the best and cheapest solution.

“We are still waiting on the insurance company to decide what they want to do about that. Their two options are to just pay to replace it or send it down to Alabama to the manufacturer, have them evaluate whether it can be repaired and added on to a new chassis. The insurance company has not made that decision yet. I suspect they’re trying to figure out how much it’s going to cost to send it to Alabama and get the information and weigh that against replacing the whole thing,” Whiteford said.

Currently the department is down two ambulances and while a new one is being purchased, Whiteford said if the department were to replace both of them completely, the prices would vary given the sizes.

“Depending on the size of it, you’re looking at somewhere between $230,000 and $185,000; somewhere in that range. The newest ambulance that we have in our fleet is the bigger box ambulance and the cost… is around $230,000 to replace. To replace one of the smaller ones that we have now with something similar, it’s around $185,000 to $190,000,” he said.

“The thought process that went into buying the larger ambulance box three years ago was that the EMS is expanding its responsibilities and technology is increasing, so they’re requiring us to carry more EMS equipment. We have monitors, some C-PAP machines, and a lot of stuff that we didn’t have 20 years ago when I started. In addition to that, we are requiring our guys to be more mobile. So because of the three stations, we only have two people at the out stations. They have to be able to do fire and EMS at any time. That means they have to carry their fire gear with them. By going with a bigger box, that gives us an opportunity to put fire gear into the ambulance…and it’s worked well for them,” Whiteford said.