City Council approves purchase of new ambulance

The Clear Lake City Council has approved the purchase of a new ambulance for the city’s fire department.  The new unit, which will cost the City $204,867, will replace a 2002 unit purchased used from the City of Garner in 2009.  CLFD Chief Doug Meyers told the Council that unit has been out of commission for 48 weeks due to the lack of available parts needed for repairs.

City Administrator Scott Flory noted the City had anticipated the need for the new ambulance and has been budgeting funds for the purchase.  No money will need to be borrowed for the new F550 4x4 ambulance.

The CLFD solicited proposals for the new vehicle and received two bids.  Meyers recommended the City purchase the F550, as opposed to a F450, due to the slightly heavier rear axel, making it more durable and offering better turning.

The price difference between the F450 and F550 is approximately $1,200, according to Meyers.

The Iowa-based company Lifeline will supply the vehicle within six to eight months.

In response to a series of questions from Council members about the purchase, Meyers said 15 to 18 years of service life are anticipated out of the new ambulance.  The department averages 10,000 to 12,000 miles per year on each ambulance in its fleet.  The fleet also includes a 2014 F450 and 2013 F450.

Councilman Mike Callahan expressed his concern that the department may be looking at replacing all three ambulances at about the same time in the distant future.

Meyers noted the future of health care services is constantly changing.

“Right now, with the information we have, I think we are on the right course for the foreseeable future,” said Chief Meyers.

Councilman Bennett Smith added that he appreciates that the City plans ahead to purchase quality equipment and noted he

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