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EMS seeks bids for used ambulance
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Warren County EMS is settling for a second best ambulance, because the one it sought to obtain suffered a setback.

The county Safety Committee met Monday to review bids received for used ambulances. Buying a secondhand ambulance, rather than band new, is an attempt by the department to replace a wrecked ambulance as quickly as possible.

“We had two bids come in, one from Medix and one from Wheeled Coach,” said EMS employee Daniel Scruggs. “We had a third one come in, but it was about six minutes late of the bid opening so we weren’t able to open and look at it.”

Two bids were quickly reduced to one when Wheel Coach notified the department it sold the ambulance it had offered to Warren County for $153,000 to someone else.

“The Wheel Coach was the one we were recommending,” said Scruggs. “We talked to the guy one day and the next day, it was sold. It had 11 miles on it.”

Commissioner Ron Lee stated, “But the fine print said it was supposed to be available for 60 days.”

The 2017 ambulance from Medix was a demo and has 10,300 miles. The vehicle is the same size height and width as the one bid by Wheeled Coach, but it is shorter by approximately 11 inches. Its price is $157,000.

Lee wanted to accept the bid from Wheeled Coach and force the company to honor its bid.

“I vote no on that. I think we need to hold the people that we wanted to buy from responsible. It states in their bid they have that truck and it would be available for 60 days, and we need our truck.”

He voiced against purchasing a smaller ambulance and expressed a desire to reject all the bids.

“If you buy these little cracker boxes and we are depriving our citizens of the best equipment to take care of their needs,” said Lee. “These people need to back up the bid they submitted. They are the ones that wrote in the bid that it would be available for 60 days. Or, we need to rebid.”

EMS director Preston Denney was not in attendance.

“Preston wants us to purchase this one,” said Commissioner Teddy Boyd. “We are a truck short right now and we can have this one in two weeks.”

Lee’s motion failed due to lack of a second.

“If we are down one and Preston says this one can do the job, I’m putting my faith in him,” said Commissioner Carl D. Bouldin, who made a motion to accept the bid from Medix. “I think we need to trust our director.”

His motion passed unanimously.

The purchase must receive county Budget and Finance Committee approval.