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Rescue squad gets a new ambulance

Lake Wylie’s rescue squad has a bigger, more powerful and safer ambulance.

Al DePalma, a nationally registered paramedic who has been with River Hills/Lake Wylie EMS for more than 25 years, said the new ambulance is in service.

“It is a Medix Type III, and was ordered a few months ago from First Class Emergency Vehicles in Indian Trail, N.C.,” DePalma said. “After manufacturing, it was delivered, inspected, decorated, had radios and position locator installed, was equipped and certified by DHEC.”

The squad’s operating expenses are funded through tax-deductible donations, support from organizations such as the River Hills Lions Club, and insurance payments, when available. The patient is never required to pay, DePalma said. The cost of the vehicle and equipment is more than $150,000.

“It is a little larger than its predecessors, and reflects improvements in diesel power, ambulance design and medical technology,” DePalma said.

The chassis is a Chevrolet 4500 van, better on fuel and lower emissions, and the exterior is lighted with LEDs.

“Cabinets are plentiful and well designed to be accessible during transport,” DePalma said. “The upholstery is smooth, without crevices or pleats to capture infectious liquids.”

DePalma said visually, the emergency lights will be more noticeable to drivers as will the rear panel, which has reflective chevron stripes.

“The driver will be assisted by backup camera, and will be able to view the activity inside the module while in transit,” DePalma said. “The vehicle will be equipped with a small refrigerator for medications and an IV fluid warmer. These improvements will enable us to expand our protocols and raise the standard of our care for our patients.”

The squad is at 4 Heritage Drive, Lake Wylie. Call 803-831-9888 for more information. Call 911 for emergencies.