On December 10, the Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department dedicated its new ambulance, the first one owned by the department since the 1970s. Prince George's County owned previous ambulances used by the company.
“The new ambulance with its newer equipment will allow us to provide more consistent support to our emergency medical service (EMS) volunteers,” said Margie Dickey, the department’s president. “Many of our volunteers are EMS-only, and having this state-of-the-art equipment helps our volunteer base.”
The new vehicle is a Ford F550 XLT, and it features a Stryker Power-LOAD stretcher system. The system allows the volunteers to load and unload a patient without risking injury to the volunteers doing the heavy lifting, allowing personnel to focus on other areas of medical service.
The new vehicle cost the department $266,000, and the Stryker system cost an additional $30,000. The department now has three fire engines, one ladder truck, one ambulance, and three other vehicles. The department runs operations using citizen donations and purchases vehicles using a combination of State of Maryland grants and citizen donations. For more information about the department, visit www.beltsvillevfd.com.