SC county uses demo ambulance to fill gap in aging fleet

The Orangeburg County Council approved the purchase after the delivery of five new ambulances was delayed during the pandemic


Bradley Harris
The Times and Democrat, Orangeburg, S.C.

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — Orangeburg County's Emergency Medical Services vehicles are feeling the impact of the coronavirus.

County Administrator Harold Young said that the mileage on the EMS department's vehicles, especially the ambulances, has significantly increased.

Orangeburg County EMS officials say that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the mileage to significantly increase on its older ambulances, both due to COVID-19-related calls and increasing road accidents.
Orangeburg County EMS officials say that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the mileage to significantly increase on its older ambulances, both due to COVID-19-related calls and increasing road accidents. (Photo/Orangeburg County)

A combination of coronavirus-related calls, increased road accidents due to less air travel and other causes are adding to the normal workload of the ambulances.

The county approved the purchase of five new vehicles earlier in the year, but all of the vehicles are not in use yet.

"The concern we have is because the COVID-19 shutdown, a lot of the trucks that we did order of the five have come in on a staggered nature, so it has increased the overall mileage county on the high-level ones that we have," Young said during Monday's Orangeburg County Council meeting.

Now, the county is looking to purchase a demonstration model vehicle for the fleet, Young said.

"A lot of companies and counties prior to the COVID-19 shutdown have placed orders and because of one thing or another, wasn't able to wait to receive the units from these companies, so they labeled some of them as demos," Young stated.

"We would like to basically put ourselves in line to bid on one of those units. However, that amount that we have been basically coming up with has consistently been in the $150,000 range to $200,000 range, and that is above my limit," Young said.

Young received unanimous approval from the council to seek a demo vehicle through procurement, with costs not to exceed $200,000.

"That would give us the ability to move quickly if we find one that will work," Young said.

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(c)2020 The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, S.C.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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