The Crossett City Council voted Monday to authorize the purchase of a new ambulance for the Crossett Fire Department.
Fire Chief Bo Higginbotham brought the request to the council Monday, saying the ambulance was initially located while searching for an ambulance that might be used to serve as support for the Hamburg area when EMS discussions at the county level indicated Crossett might be asked to provide service there.
The city currently has an ambulance that needs to be replaced, and the asking price for the ambulance in question — a used model with 22,000 miles on it for approximately $35,000 — was “too good to pass up,” Higginbotham said.
“We feel like in the next two years, (the ambulance that needs to be replaced) is going to need $35,000 worth of work on it if it doesn’t just sit down on us,” he said.
Crossett Fire Marshall Michael Wilhite, who is also the fire department’s certified mechanic, told the council that the ambulance the department wants to replace has 237,000 miles on it and has a class three oil leak.
“It seems like I can fix one thing on it, and another thing comes up,” he said.
“I don’t know if you’ve seen it around town, but (the engine) smokes.”
The aging ambulance also needs towing every time it is sent out of town, he said.
Wilhite said he believes he can get 200,000 miles out of the engine on the new ambulance, which is being sold because the fleet letting it go is downsizing.
The ambulance in question, which also matches the rest of the Crossett ambulance fleet, has only been used as a reserve vehicle, he said.