Pocomoke City gets brand new ambulance, major upgrades to EMS equipment
POCOMOKE CITY, Md. – Pocomoke City is celebrating a $306,000 USDA Rural Investment Grant recently awarded to the municipality.
Pocomoke City EMS Chief Ryan McCready says with the money, the city was able to purchase a top-of-the-line ambulance with enhanced safety features. The current ambulance, a 2012 Ford F450 ambulance has over 200,000 miles on it according to McCready. It’s being replaced with a 2022 Ford F550 four wheel drive ambulance.
“The new ambulance features a UV germicidal disinfection system, and antimicrobial surfaces and hand rails. No wood surfaces are in the ambulance, which would allow any kind of germs to form,” said McCready. “It’s one of the only manufactures where the body mounts are sled tested to be 30 G. So, in the invent of an impact, the ambulance has already been sled tested and proved that it will hold together in an accident.”
The new ambulance also includes a four-point safety harness and stretcher loading system, and upgraded airbags. McCready says the department was able to purchase new cardiac monitors, which can cost up to $32,000 a piece, and an automatic CPR device, in addition.
“The loading system reduces back injuries, and allows the providers to not have to pick the patient and the stretcher up. It locks into place, it lifts itself in, and it pushes in,” said McCready. “The automatic CPR device reduces the need for manpower, and it does perfect CPR 100% of the time. They have proven to be very successful in better patient outcomes in the event of a cardiac arrest.”
U.S. Representative Andy Harris, Acting Ranking Member of House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee, says he hopes the upgrades will enable Pocomoke City to keep its citizens safer than before. “All the towns in rural areas of this country basically are worse off than the urban areas. A lot of the government’s attention frequently goes to the urban areas. So, I’m glad we could work with the USDA and get one of these rural grants,” he said.
McCready agrees, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic illustrated just how needed those upgrades were. “We’re a small town. Just like anything else in the COVID-19 pandemic, there were cost increases daily. We went through two cost increases just in procurement of the ambulance,” he said. “As equipment becomes more and more expensive, it’s going to be harder for us to obtain that, and keep the level of service, without the assistance of grants.”