Mesquite Fire and Rescue’s ambulance fleet is made up of six vehicles. Four ambulances serve in the main force while the other two remain in reserve. Three out of the six ambulances are 10 years old or more and have 250,000 plus miles. These have become a financial burden to the city due to maintenance issues and repair costs.
Deputy Chief Rick Resnick explains, “Our current situation is such that at least two of the six ambulances are out of service for maintenance at any given time. We have had instances when our ambulances broke down during a call or on a transport and have had to ask other Fire and EMS personnel to finish out the transport. We also have had instances of three units being out of service for mechanical issues at once with mandates stating the unit not be placed into service until it is repaired and safe to respond to calls. At 2000 EMS calls per year we are a small albeit, busy department. It is not uncommon to have four front line ALS ambulances running calls at once.
Chief John S. Higley further explains, “The last ambulance purchased for the department was in 2008. That ambulance already has 73,000 miles on it”. He continued, “Our units also have a unique responsibility to provide on scene and inter facility transportation to area hospitals including Mesa View Regional, Las Vegas, Henderson, and St. George hospitals. That equates to very high mileage units in a shorter amount of time than typical fire department ambulances…which in turn equates to a higher cost and frequency of maintenance.”
After much consideration, City and Department officials decided to replace the four aging ambulances. The four new ambulances are at Fire Station 3 on John Deer Drive and will be in service in December.