Nick McWilliams reporting – Dover officials are planning on purchasing a new ambulance through the state bidding system.

During a Safety Committee meeting Monday, Fire Chief Russ Volkert discussed the proposal with council.

He says that the city should act now to replace one of their aging units, due to unstable markets.

If we ordered one today, all of the manufacturers will tell you the same thing. It’s a 20 to 24-month wait. And I’m not going to play Chicken Little and say our ambulances are falling apart, because they’re not. But in order to get one replaced in a timely fashion, we need to take action. And that’s the other thing. When you do get a price, almost every vendor will say it’s good for 30 days.”

Volkert says that he doesn’t believe there will be any change any time soon when it comes to wait times or price increases.

The unit being phased out of primary duty will be kept for a period to ensure a vehicle will always be at the ready in the city.

“What we are proposing is we purchase a third ambulance, and then we’d put one of our frontline vehicles into backup service. I had hoped to have final figures but the preliminary estimate was, I believe, $339,000. There were a couple of things that need corrected and price adjustments made.”

Interim Mayor Shane Gunnoe says that part of the motivation for moving legislation along for a contract with Dover Township was to get $150,000 towards the purchase of a new unit. 

Upon completion of the bid process, the fire department will sell a used unit they purchased for $22,000 for backup.

Volkert estimates that a new ambulance should last anywhere from eight to 10 years.

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