The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department continues to receive deliveries, implementing a strategic apparatus replacement program. The most recent arrivals include 12 ambulance/paramedic transport units to be distributed to various stations around the County. These transport units are part of the 3rd year receipts, out of the overall ten year strategic plan for all county-owned apparatus replacement.
Since 2011, the Department has now added 36 ambulances, with an additional 13 ambulances now on order, programmed for calendar year 2016 delivery. The replacement of these 49 units amounts to approximately ½ of the existing County’s ambulance fleet. The strategic plan seeks to continue replacing ambulances at the rate of 15 per year. The cost of a new ambulance/medic transport unit is approximately $230,000 each.
In addition to the 36 ambulances received, the PGFD has added/replaced nine (9) engines, three (3) ladder trucks, one (1) heavy-duty rescue squad, and has replaced the majority of the command vehicle fleet. In addition to the 13 ambulances on order, there is one (1) tower-ladder, one (1) hazardous materials squad, one (1) rehabilitation unit, and one (1) rehabilitation support unit on order with delivery expected on all units in calendar year 2016. In addition to the County apparatus, Volunteer Fire Company Corporations continue to replace volunteer-owned apparatus through fundraising and with State funds administered through the Fire Commission. During the same time frame Volunteer Corporations have replaced nine (9) engines, one (1) ladder truck, one (1) tower-ladder, 1 engine-tanker, 1 rescue squad and 10 ambulances. Two (2) additional engines and 1 additional ambulance are on order.
In 2011, Fire Chief Marc Bashoor presented County Executive Rushern Baker and the County Council with a proposal to not only replace aging County-owned apparatus, but to also resolve long-term purchase decisions keeping the fleet in a continuous state of readiness.
The plan included a “branding” change from white to red equipment with the new Department motto “Safety First, Everyone Goes Home”, and the ‘marking’ of all new administrator and Chiefs vehicles.
County Executive Baker remarked, “Public Safety is and has been a cornerstone of this administration. Ensuring that the men and women of the Fire/EMS Department, who put themselves in harms way and risk their lives to save others every day, deserve the best and most effective firefighting and medical transport equipment we are able to purchase. I am proud of the progress we have made to provide our firefighters and paramedics with state of the art equipment.”
Chief Bashoor said, “I am thankful to the County Executive Baker, the Office of Management and Budget staff, and to the County Council for ensuring our strategic plan could come to fruition. Without all of their support, this would not have been possible. I look forward to continuing to fulfill the strategic plan, placing the Department on level footing for years to come.”