New Haven-Adams Township (IN) Fire & EMS had an ambulance in its fleet with more than 100,000 miles on it, so the department began shopping around for a new ALS rig, first stopping at FDIC International to check out what ambulance makers were offering. After considering a number of manufacturers, then checking out an ambulance a neighboring department recently received, New Haven-Adams went with a Type 1 ambulance built by PL Custom Body and Equipment Co. Inc., and sold by Crossroads Ambulance Sales & Service.
Doug Call, deputy chief of New Haven-Adams, says New Haven-Adams is a combination fire and EMS department with 12 paid full-time firefighters, six paid full-time paramedics, 32 paid part-time paramedics and EMTs, four volunteer EMTs, and 56 volunteer firefighters. “We run a 24/7 paramedic service with four ambulances, and our first-out fire apparatus is a paramedic engine,” Call points out. “Our department handles 2,300 EMS runs annually.”
Besides its new PL Custom Type 1 ambulance, New Haven-Adams runs a 2004 Pierce Enforcer pumper with a 1,250-gpm pump and 500-gallon water tank, a 1986 Pierce Dash pumper with 1,250-gpm pump and 500 gallon water tank, a 1999 Freightliner tanker with a 500-gpm pump and 2,100-gallon water tank, a 2005 Pierce Enforcer 75-foot rear-mount aerial quint with a 2,000-gpm pump and 500-gallon water tank, a 1998 Marion walk-in heavy rescue, and three Braun Type III ambulances.
Dean Martin, owner of Crossroads Ambulance Sales & Service, says the rig that PL Custom built for New Haven-Adams is a PL Custom Class 170 Type 1 ambulance on a Ford F-550 4×4 chassis with a 170-inch patient module that has 72 inches of headroom and a pass-through from the box to the front of the truck. The ambulance is powered by a 6.7-liter V8 diesel engine, and has a wheelbase of 193 inches, an overall length of 25 feet 8 inches, qn overall height of 9 feet 4 inches, and a width of 99 inches.
“We installed a Stryker Power-PRO XT ambulance cot and Stryker Power-LOAD fastener system in the truck,” Martin says, “and a Zone Defense® backup camera and interior module camera and monitor. Both cameras have built in microphones so the driver can have voice capabilities and be able to see what is going on back in the module. The interior has 45-degree mitered cabinets, a Knox nonrefrigerated MedVault®, an Intellitec digital time management clock system, recessed tip-out waste and sharps containers, a traditional squad bench with six-point restraints for both positions, a CPR seat with six-point restraint, and an attendant seat at the head of the cot with a six-point harness and a built-in child’s safety seat.”
Martin notes that New Haven-Adams required an exterior compartment isolated from the interior of the box. “There’s an SCBA in a Zico 45-degree mounting bracket in that compartment where the department also stores fire turnout gear to keep the interior of the module in a clean cab configuration,” he says.
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Chad Newsome, PL Custom’s national sales manager, says that the New Haven-Adams ambulance has PL Custom’s standard 3M Thinsulate™ insulation in all doors, walls, and ceiling, with the addition of a Reflictix material in between the Thinsulate and walls for added insulation. “It provides both thermal and acoustical qualities,” Newsome observes. “We also use an Audio Guard spray-on acoustical and thermal barrier that’s made by PPG. It’s a sound deadening spray that we put on the back side of the interior of all compartments and makes a huge difference in keeping the box quiet, which helps the medics with patient care during transport.”
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Editorial Advisory Board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.