Buying An Ambulance

domesticgodemt

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I was reluctantly placed on my Volly Rescue Squad New Ambulance Committee. How do you find vendors, get bids, and negotiate?

Thanks!!!!
 

rescuecpt

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My Corps has been using PL from Manasquan, NJ. We have bought 6 ambulances from them over the past few years - we are getting 2 new ones delivered next week! I know everyone has different preferences, I would say just google search the Companies, if their website doesn't have somewhere that you can request info, just call them up and tell them you're in the market. They'll be more than happy to send you info, prepare a bid to your specs, and send you to neighboring departments who have their vehicles.

Some big names are PL, Horton, Wheeled Coach, Road Rescue, Braun Industries.

Here's the google search:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=ambulance+manufacturer
 

Margaritaville

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You may want to talk to the ambulance committee members from other departments in your areas on your own. Also ask the members about how they feel about thier units. The best info about the units comes from the people who ride and work in them.

I once had contact with one of the smoothest talking ambulance salesman you would ever want to meet. 2 years later and many trips to the shop, I figured out that next time we would do some better checking. In talking to the Captain in the next town over, he said "see if you would have asked we would have told you its JUNK." He was right!!!

Don't let our costly mistake scare you. Just remember no matter what you buy, not everyone will be pleased. But make an informed decision.

Best of luck.
 
OP
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domesticgodemt

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Thanks, Your replies were pretty much what was discussed last night. Checking with other agencies and giving ourselves enough lead time to negotiate for a Demo Unit rather than to spec out and break in a new unit with the associated headaches.
 

GFD940

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Make sure when you are working on the specs that you think about what your department needs. The specs for my department are done by 2 guys that don't ride the rig. The result is a rig that isn't practical for the ones that do work on it.

Before you purchase, get references from the dealer. Check around with other departments that run that brand of squad.
 

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
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I think the best piece of advice is to ask around and visit other departments. Most people in EMS will gladly tell you how they feel about their rig.

It's the ambulance company's job to sell you the unit, not look out for the best interest of your department. Remember that :)
 

PArescueEMT

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The opinions shared have been talked about here. I think that talking to other squads and seeing their vehicles should be the 2 highest items on your agenda. You also may want to ride in others b4 buying too. The company I work for has a ALF sprinter. Lots of room for a type 2... worst ride you can imagine. I would rather work in a kodiak than that for smoothness. :( but i still enjoy the truck.
 

dlkelleytn

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Originally posted by MMiz@Dec 10 2004, 12:56 AM
I think the best piece of advice is to ask around and visit other departments. Most people in EMS will gladly tell you how they feel about their rig.

It's the ambulance company's job to sell you the unit, not look out for the best interest of your department. Remember that :)

As someone who has been on both sides of the situation I have seen really good units and sales reps and some really really bad ones.

Just a thought on Matt's post - If you are dealing with a trustworthy sales agency it is their job to find out your agencies needs then show how the ambulance manufacturers they represent can meet their needs. In truth the sales team should be working for you not for the ambulance manufacturer.

If the sales rep you are working with is vague in answering your questions or hesitates to provide you with firm, documented information - move on to another manufacturer. I would much rather deal with a well-informed committee than with one who is swayed by fast-talk.

Don't rush into anything, when visiting your neighboring squads I would suggest a couple of visits at different times with different crews on duty. This will give you a wider variety of comments, good and bad, on the units you are considering.

Lastly, if it sounds too good to be true - get it in writing from the manufacturer or the owner of the sales agency. As we all know there are sales reps that will say anything to make a sale.
 

ffemt8978

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I agree with what has been posted here so far, but I think that everyone has missed the most important point:

Get it bigger (more storage space) than you think you will ever need!

Murphy's Law of Ambulances dictates that two weeks after you take delivery of your ambulance, you will be required to put more equipment on it that you've ever had before.
 

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