Excerpts from Mortontimesnews.com:

The East Peoria Fire Department purchased a refurbished ambulance. The vehicle was purchased from Arrow Ambulance, a company in Rock Rapids, Iowa, that specializes in refurbishing used ambulances.

“They strip it down to the walls, and rebuild it piece by piece,” Fire Chief Al Servis said recently. “You can’t even see the difference from a new ambulance.”

“The chassis is new, but the box on back is completely refurbished that looks like it is brand new, never used before,” Assistant Chief Richard Ward said Wednesday. “It’s a great way to save some money.”

The ambulance was delivered earlier this month, inspected by the state and pressed into service at the department’s Central House on West Washington Street.

Assistant Chief Ryan Beck picked out a box last year and Arrow has been working to refurbish and attach it to the new chassis. The total cost of the ambulance, to be paid off over two years, was $214,323, a price that includes $10,000 in radios that would have been paid whether the city bought a new or refurbished ambulance. The approximate savings was $40,000. The city budgeted $230,000 for a new ambulance.

The purchase of the used ambulance could be a precedent.

“It was a very wise decision that enabled us to not only benefit from a cost savings on this particular one but lays the groundwork to do the same over the next several in future years to come,” Commissioner John Kahl said. “The finished product is impressive and you would believe it to be brand new.”