City to spend $100,000, which is less than a new ambulance

Havelock commissioner Danny Walsh had never ridden in a Havelock ambulance. Then an issue with his medication prompted a phone call for rescue a few weeks ago.

Feeling healthy, he was quick to back a proposal for the city to spend up to $100,000 for a remount of one of the four ambulances in the fire department’s fleet.

“I will be glad to make that motion,” Walsh said.

Commissioners approved the motion unanimously.

A remount of an ambulance involves keeping the box – where a patient is located during transport – and putting a new chassis and body underneath. The process is generally less expensive than purchasing a new ambulance, which depending on the model can cost $150,000 to $175,000, Havelock Fire Chief Rick Zaccardelli said.

“It’s a brand new chassis and engine,” Zaccardelli said of the remount, adding that one of the city’s other ambulances had gone through a similar process in 2009.

The $100,000 for the remount of Medic No. 234 is coming from the current budget, as some expenses have been cut by the fire department. The ambulance has about 143,500 miles on it. Havelock ambulances serve an area from the Craven-Carteret county line to near Riverdale.

Havelock Fire Chief Rick Zaccardelli said the process of remounting the ambulance should take about three months, thus reducing the city’s fleet of ambulances to three during late summer and fall. He said ambulances from Cherry Point would be able to support Havelock if needed.

Walsh was quick to give thanks to the medics who transported him to CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern for treatment.

“They did a great job,” he told Zaccardelli. “They got me up there and got me settled in. … I now know what it’s like to ride in an ambulance and how effective your people are.”