At January’s dedication of Key Peninsula Fire Department’s new ambulance, Chief Guy Allen, right, and in the cab, Evergreen Elementary students Erika Prante and Grace Nesbit, and left, Assistant Chief Hal Wolverton and Volunteer Battalion Chief Anne Nesbit enjoy the experience. Photo by Hugh McMillan, KP News

On Jan. 17, the Key Peninsula Fire Department held its first-ever dedication ceremony for a new piece of equipment––a medic rig. The department’s new ambulance is an economically saving acquisition employing a new approach to required equipment replacements.

“To build a new medic unit in today’s market would cost taxpayers approximately $160,000,” saidHal Wolverton, assistant chief.

“Today’s economy being what it is, we had to be creative when replacing our 2005 medic unit. With our budget unable to support the replacement costs, we researched refurbishing the ‘box,’ the patient treatment area, and installing it onto a new Ford chassis. When the final numbers came back, this idea was too good to pass up. By refurbishing the box and installing it on a new chassis, the savings was over $60,000,”Wolverton said.

By the looks of those at the ceremony, it was hard to tell the rig is not entirely brand new.

A solemn dedication ceremony conducted by one of KPFD’s volunteer chaplains,Leslie Beecher, brought the event to its highlight.

A substantial crowd braved the rainy weather to participate. It included both career and volunteer firefighting officials, a fire commissioner and several excited KPFD siblings, the latter of whom enjoyed spraying dedication water on the new rig from the pre-connect hose off a fire engine.

“Seeing everyone here today to help us dedicate this medic unit is such a great feeling. It feels so good to see the connection with the community grow, the warmth and support we feel now is so rewarding. The positive energy is palpable,”said Chief Guy Allen.

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