The Brunswick News, Ga.
Firefighters at Glynn County Fire-Rescue’s Station No. 6 marked the first day of a new ambulance’s service life with an age-old tradition.
Called a push-in ceremony, the act dates back to the days of horse-drawn steam pumpers, possibly as far back as the 18th or 19th centuries, Glynn County Fire-Rescue acting chief Vincent DiCristofalo.
“When the horses got back, they couldn’t back the pumper into the station, so the firefighters had to unhook it and push it the rest of the way,” said
Glynn County has done the ceremony before, and DiCristolfo said he plans to make it a regular thing for every new fire engine and ambulance the station acquires.
Getting new ambulances has, in general, been a challenge. It’s not just the cost, but the timeline to procure them, he explained.
Ambulances are unique vehicles with very specific purposes, you can’t go buy new ones off a lot, he said. Once, you could order an ambulance and have it delivered in a few months. But supply chain and manufacturing issues still lingering from the COVID-19 pandemic mean that the process can take upwards of 18 months to 2 years, he said.
The ambulance pressed into service last week is replacing an older ambulance, which led DiCristolfo to touch on another topic — expanding the department’s fleet.
Currently, it operated seven ambulances at any given time while keeping some older models in reserve. Two more ambulances, which the Glynn County Commission recently voted to purchase, will allow the fire department to replace its oldest vehicle entirely while adding one new one to the active roster, bringing it up to eight.
But, given the current timeline for ambulance delivery, it’s unknown when exactly those two could arrive.
Regardless, the county’s firefighters are glad to have the new ambulance, which came with equipment with several modern innovations.
They’re going to need it, said Travis Johnson, EMS division chief, as the department has responded to around 18,000 calls this year alone.
“We’re always appreciative of the commission for new vehicles,” Johnson said.
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