New vehicle will improve medical emergency runs
Posted on 08/31/2020
Firefighters trained in EMS response stand in front of the new emergency vehicle.It’s a ride no one ever wants to take. But if you need to be transported to a local hospital, it’s good to know the Northville Fire Department has added a new rescue truck to its fleet at Station #1, replacing an older model that’s nearly 20 years old. The vehicle was paid for with a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG). The project amount of $250,000 required only 5% ($11,905) be paid by the City as the grantee share.

Purchased from Medix Specialty Vehicles Inc., of Elkhart, Ind., the new rescue vehicle has LED lighting inside and outside. A mechanical powerlift elevates the stretcher onto the vehicle and secures it in place with a rail system, and also lowers the stretcher over the tall back step when the patient is brought off the vehicle. This new mechanism prevents injuries among the emergency medical technicians and provides a smoother transfer for the patient.

The vehicle seats a driver and front-seat passenger and up to five EMS team members in the back, along with the patient. Built on a Ford F-550 chassis, the truck features a smoother, quieter ride than the older vehicle due to a self-leveling feature and an upgraded suspension system that eases bumps in the roads. The quieter ride allows EMTs to hear each other talk, which was sometimes hard to do in the older vehicle. Medical aids acquired by the department in previous years – AEDs and an automatic cardiac compression device — will be on board the new unit. All of these factors improve patient care.

Rescue vehicle #1703 responds to 911 calls that involve a medical emergency and may require transport to a hospital emergency room, primarily as a result of medical emergencies and traffic accidents. Station #1 handles approximately 450 EMS responses annually. The NCFD also provides mutual aid to surrounding communities for emergency calls that require additional personnel or equipment.

When a 911 call comes in, dispatch alerts the police, fire department and ambulance service. Police handle routine first aid, the Northville City Fire Dept. provides Basic Life Support (BLS), while an ambulance company renders Advanced Life Support (ALS). This hierarchy of services ensures that patients receive fast, efficient care.

Last fall, Fire Chief Steve Ott told City Council about three major grants awarded by FEMA that would allow for the purchase of a new rescue vehicle, hoses and radios. While the department received the hoses and radios months ago, the rescue vehicle was recently delivered.

In total, the department has three rescue vehicles, with two being used at Station #2 in the City of Plymouth. The old vehicle will have a glamorous second act, being outfitted as the DPW’s sewer camera truck, which goes on “diagnostic” runs to take images of the City’s sanitary sewer lines to find blockages and fractures in the system.

About the photo: Firefighters trained in EMS response stand in front of the new emergency vehicle, holding hoses and radios that were funded through FEMA’s AFG program, which also funded the vehicle. Photo provided by NCFD.