North Whatcom fire commissioners to decide on ambulance replacement

Published on Thu, Mar 15, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

Read More The Lighthouse Blog

A North Whatcom Fire and Rescue (NWFR) ambulance involved in an accident last month can either be repaired or replaced, and the fire district’s commissioners will discuss these options at tonight’s meeting.

An accident at Kickerville and Bay roads in Birch Bay on February 1 heavily damaged the ambulance and sent the two firefighters inside to St. Joseph Medical Center with minor injuries; they were released soon afterward. The ambulance was returning from a call and not carrying any patients.

According to documents distributed to the NWFR fire commissioners, the damaged ambulance was taken to Braun Northwest, an emergency vehicle repair shop in Chehalis, Washington. Technicians there determined the patient compartment could be fixed and mounted on a new ambulance chassis.

NWFR assistant chief Henry Hollander said remounting the patient compartment, called the “box,” would be the most cost-efficient option. He estimated this will cost about $95,000 and take about a month and a half to get the ambulance back in service.

“It’s possible we could get an ambulance back here in 90 days,” Hollander said.

Hollander said he’ll recommend this option to the NWFR commissioners, considering the price of a brand new ambulance would be approximately $150,000. Receiving the new ambulance could take as many as 280 days because the new box would have to be built from scratch and filled with all the necessary emergency equipment.

The district received about $115,000 from their insurance company to cover the damages to the ambulance.

The NWFR fire commissioners meeting will start at 7 tonight, March 15, at the Blaine fire station, 9408 Odell Road, Blaine.


Inside the Lighthouse

Welcome to the Lighthouse, the official blog of The Northern Light newspaper. The Lighthouse is the place for some breaking news, previews of upcoming articles, smaller news items and some tidbits of local information that might not make it into the print edition of The Northern Light.

The Northern Light reporter Steve Guntli will be the main contributor to The Lighthouse, but other staff from The Northern Light may add items from time to time.

The Lighthouse is a work in progress and may undergo substantial changes as readers react to the content posted here. The Northern Light kindly asks for the patience of its readers as we edge ever so slightly into the world of blogging.

Thank you, and enjoy The Lighthouse Blog!