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Rural Vt. communities transition to gas-powered ambulances

A new, gas-powered rig offers lower anticipated repair costs over diesel, the Northshire Rescue Squad reported


The Northshire Rescue Squad’s ambulance bays are full, having adding a third, gas-powered rig to the fleet.

Photo/Northshire Rescue Squad

By Jessie Forand

MANCHESTER, Vt. — A new ambulance in the Northshire Rescue Squad will allow responders to serve rural Vermont residents for nearly a decade.

The $203,000 Ford vehicle will run for an expected 9 years and travel 200,000 miles over the mountainous terrain in the Manchester area, and uses gasoline, not diesel, which offers lower anticipated repair costs, according to the NRS.

“If all goes as planned, we will continue the transition from diesel to gasoline vehicles with future purchases,” NRS Chief Operating Officer Mike Casey told the Bennington Banner.

The new rig also has a hydraulic lift, which provides assistance for the physically demanding task of placing patients on stretchers into the ambulance.

The squad is working to fundraise in order to add lifts to its other two ambulances.

Other funding comes in through annual subscriptions for locals.

“Our seven-days-a-week, around-the-clock rescue service depends on a reliable fleet of three ambulances,” Susan Howard, NRS board president, said. “To meet this need, we continue to follow our long-term plan with our municipal government partners to rotate a new vehicle into service every three years.”