Resulting in a significant cost-savings, one of Tama's ambulance bodies has been remounted on a new chassis. The Bruan ambulance was returned to Tama on Monday from North Central Emergency Vehicle in Lester Prairie, Minn.
It had been sent there on April 29. A loaner ambulance has been in use as one of the two Tama ambulances in service during the period.
Don Weitzell, Tama full-time paramedic on the service said the box was completely refurbished inside and the exterior of the box and cab were updated at a cost of $62,000. The new chassis was about $38,000 bringing total cost to $100,000.
Don Weitzell, Tama paramedic, displays the Tama ambulance which has a new chaiss and refurbished body inside and out. It was received to be put back into service on Monday.
This compares to $180,000 cost for a comparable new unit, Weitzell said.
While a selling point over the years for this type of ambulance has been chassis replacement, this is the first time remembered it has been done locally.
Tama and the six other services in Tama County took over emergency medical responses from funeral homes in 1972.
The Tama Ambulance service first operated with a station wagon ambulance purchased from the Mason-Hand Funeral Home in Tama.
The Tama Ambulance Service answers an average of about 600 calls annually and is staffed by community volunteers.
Weitzell said the number of calls for 2013 stood at 510 on Monday.