By Alan M. Petrillo
Bethel-Tate (OH) Fire Department runs two advanced life support (ALS) ambulances out of a single station covering 48-1/2-square miles of the village of Bethel and the township of Tate in Clermont County, Ohio. The department is a combination department with 12 full-time paid firefighters, 38 paid part-time firefighters and five volunteers who answer 2,100 calls a year, 1,600 of them emergency medical services (EMS) runs.
Richard Stowell, Bethel-Tate’s chief, says the department took over responsibility for EMS in its coverage area when the Bethel-Tate Joint Ambulance District was disbanded in 2008, and has run McCoy Miller ambulances since that time. “Our newest McCoy Miller ALS ambulance is a 2021 model that’s a Type 1 on a Ford F-550 4×4 chassis and two-door cab, as are our 2017 and 2013 McCoy Miller ambulances,” Stowell points out. He notes that the rig has an overall length of 25 feet, with a 98-inch wide, 72-inch high, 163-inch long box with a pass-through that sits on a 193-inch wheelbase, allowing the department to maneuver the vehicle into many of the tight places in the district. The new ambulance also has a Liquid Spring rear suspension, Stowell adds, giving both medics and patients a smoother ride.
Stowell says that the village of Bethel has a business district that covers about a third of its area, with the balance being residential, containing about 3,000 residents. The township of Tate is primarily residential with lots of agricultural areas, he adds, meaning the department often faces unpaved roadways and narrow lanes.
Steve Stricklen, sales manager for Burgess Ambulance Sales Inc., who sold the McCoy Miller Type 1 to Bethel-Tate Fire, points out that the last three McCoy Miller rigs that he sold to the fire department are four wheel drive models, which the department chose because of its mostly rural coverage area.
Stricklen says the new ambulance has been fitted with ultraviolet (UV) lighting in the patient area ceiling, and in the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system of both the patient compartment and the truck’s chassis to neutralize airborne germs. He adds that the rig also has an AeroClave decontamination system that can be used to decontaminate the interior of the patient box using an aerosolized application mode for hands-free decontamination, or to decon individual pieces of equipment through a hand-applied mode using an AeroClave portable applicator.
Chief Stowell says the new rig, like Bethel-Tate’s previous units, has a Stryker Power-LOAD and Power-Pro XT cot, a LIFEPAK 15 defibrillator and monitor on the rear section of the curb side cabinetry that has both inside and outside access, and all seating positions protected by Per4max four-point seat harnesses.
Bethel-Tate’s new McCoy Miller ambulance has Whelen LED warning lights, seven Whelen LED M9 series lights across the front-top of the patient module, Whelen LED M9 series load lights at the rear, and four Whelen LED M9 series scene lights, two on each side of the box.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Ariz.-based journalist, the author of three novels and five non-fiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including the position of chief.