July 12, 2024

Council approves purchase of 2 ambulances for Newton Fire

Fleet will be significantly modernized when vehicles are completed

Photo of an ambulance.

Two ambulances were purchased by the Newton City Council during the July 1 meeting, further updating the fire department’s fleet of emergency vehicles after one was destroyed in a fire earlier this year. It is estimated it will take until 2025 for both ambulances to be constructed and operational in town.

Typically, the fire department operates with four ambulances for emergency medical response; three are front-line vehicles and the other is a reserve unit. However, only three ambulances — a 2010 model, a 2013 model and a 2016 model — are operational at Newton Fire Department at this time.

Newton News previously reported a 2019 model ambulance was destroyed in a fire earlier this year. The vehicle returned from a call and then unexpectedly caught fire while waiting in the ambulance bay. The ambulance was expected to be a total loss. Insurance proceeds are expected to cover the replacement costs.

According to city documents, the 2016 model is due for replacement in 2025. The model being replaced would then rotate into a reserve vehicle.

While the fire department did look at other options for additional cost savings and optimal lead times, it was determined by staff that purchasing two ambulances was the most responsible course of action. The bidder chosen by staff was Legacy Emergency Vehicles of Prole, Iowa, for $629,051.

It is estimated the first ambulance could be finished by January 2025. Although it is currently estimated to take two years for the second ambulance to be built, staff noted that Life Line Ambulance has made significant investments in its facility in Sumner, Iowa, resulting in reduced completion times.

Which means lead times could be reduced by six months within the next two years. By the time all the ambulances are acquired by Newton Fire Department, the front-line vehicles will all have been built from 2022 to 2025, significantly modernizing the fleet.

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.