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Lee County unveals new ambulance fleet

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- Lee County is unveiling a new ambulance fleet set to hit the road next week.

The 11 ambulances are smaller, get better gas mileage, have a sleek new look and require a lot less maintenance.

Seven of the 11 ambulances were paid for by using $1.3 million from MedStar sales. The other four cost $170,000 each and were paid for by using money that came from the general fund.

“Who wouldn’t like these new ambulances? They are designed around patient care, engineered for safety, they cost less than the previous generation of ambulances, what’s not to like,” said Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais.

The previous fleet was getting old and the vehicles were breaking down. Older ambulances will be used as reserve fleet in case they are needed down the road.

County officials say the new fleet comes with a variety of perks such as:

– Fuel Efficiency: current ambulance fleet achieves a fuel economy of approximately 5-10 miles per gallon (MPG). The new ambulance will be in the 13-14 MPG range.

– Lee County EMS predicts a decrease in maintenance costs of 40 percent to 50 percent.

– Six-point safety restraint system for the attendants in the back.

– Patient compartment is video monitored by the driver.

– Independent electrical systems from the chassis and the patient compartment. (If the battery for the patient compartment stops operating, the vehicle will still run normally because the engine has a separate electrical system.)

– The second round of seven trucks will have adaptive braking system that will assist the driver in detecting possible front end collisions and apply the brakes. They will also have rollover protection and lane change, meaning the vehicle will automatically compensate for possible rollover situations and warn the driver of vehicles in blind spots.