On Sunday, June 24, 2018, the Vigilant Hose Company (VHC) proudly placed into service its new “Ambulance 69” (A-69) with Amber Zimmerman and Chad Zimmerman running the call. A-69 replaces a unit that was over eleven years old. VHC Chief Umbel stated, “At a cost of over a quarter million dollars, the vision to begin setting aside funds for the new ambulance goes to the former officers and members of the former Ambulance Company who started the process of saving for a new ambulance several years ago.”
During this past year, the joint merger of the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company into the Vigilant Hose Company took place. Months of planning and coordination between the organizations and partner agencies allowed for the full process to be effective at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2018.
Following its arrival here, it took just over six weeks to get A-69 fully outfitted with all its life saving equipment, including radios and a range of items needed to obtain a ‘Seal of Excellence’ designation from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) and, very importantly, training response personnel to be familiar with the various technologies utilized onboard the unit.
Chief Umbel added, “Mounted on a Ford F-550 Chassis, the new ‘Type 1’ ambulance was manufactured by Road Rescue of Winter Park/Orlando, Florida, whose local dealer Atlantic Emergency Solutions of Manassas, Virginia, was very responsive to our particular community’s needs.” The cost of new A-69 exceeded over a quarter million dollars. One key feature is the Stryker Brand ‘Power-LOAD’ powered cot loading and fastener system improves patient and First Responder safety by supporting the cot throughout the loading, unloading, and transportation processes.
During the recent May 23rd ‘EMS Open House” event, held in recognition of National Emergency Medical Services Week, the new unit drew great interest from visitors, just as it has since its arrival. On behalf of the Town of Emmitsburg, Mayor Don Briggs presented VHC with a $6,000 check to help offset costs of EMS delivery locally.
A permanent plaque will soon be affixed to the unit, dedicating A-69 to all members of the former Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company who worked so hard to raise funds that allowed for the purchase and outfitting of equipment being carried. Those who have yet to see the new A-69 will get the opportunity to do so during Emmitsburg Community Heritage Day on Saturday, June 30, which begins with Breakfast at the Fire Station on West Main Street.
Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs (standing, center) presents a $6,000 check to VHC President Frank Davis; looking on is ‘Sparkey,’ Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, and VHC Auxiliary President Tina Ryder; kneeling are members of VHC’s EMS Committee, Jim Click, Chad Zimmerman, Amber Zimmerman, Alyssa Cool, and Dave Stonesifer.