Sandy City Fire donates ambulance to Honeyville station
Jun 22, 2016 09:15AM ● Published by Chris Larson
The Sandy City Fire Department donated a surplussed ambulance to the Central Box Elder Fire District on June 20 after Sandy received two new ambulances earlier this year.
Sandy City Fire Chief Bruce Cline sent a letter to the state's fire chiefs on April 25 informing them of the 2008 Ford and Horton Ambulance cab's surplus status. Five candidates from small fire departments from across the state presented their interest.
The fire district Chief Jordan Andersen said the donation of the ambulance helps fulfill a department goal that simply wasn't financially possible for the fire district, stationed in Honeyville, Utah.
The fire district already has a quick-response, no-transport EMT team for emergency calls, but hopes to evolve it into a licensed ambulance service to transport patients to hospital.
"There are still several hurdles to go through. Licensing an ambulance to transport patients is fairly involved," Andersen said. "But financially, it was something we really couldn't really achieved without the help of this donation from Sandy City."
Andersen also hopes the addition of new equipment and progress on a long-term goal will revitalize the efforts the 22-man crew to achieve licensing and training goals to staff the vehicle.
Six-year Honeyville Mayor Dave Forsgren said the city operates on a total budget that ranges between $70 to $80,000.
"There is no way that we could afford something like this unless it was donated," Forsgren said. "This is the only way that we could even operate."
The new ambulance will be the newest of all apparatuses in the Honeyville station. The station's current newest response vehicle is a 1996 Chevrolet that was surplussed from Fielding, Utah that struggles to reach highway speeds, let alone respond to calls quickly, Andersen said.
Thus, having the ambulance will also increase response times from the EMTs and provide better safety for the crew while en route to calls, Andersen said.
Central Box Elder Fire District is a volunteer force with its station in Honeyville. The district is responsible for covering over 110,000 square miles and 3,000 residents on an $5,000 annual operating budget, according to Cline.
"Can you imagine running a little volunteer fire department on $5,000?" Cline said.
The Center Box Elder Fire District currently relies on contracted ambulances from Tremonton or Brigham City, extending response times to 15 minutes where a city like Sandy has an average response time of under five minutes.
The fire district consists of Bear River, Honeyville and Deweyville, Utah.
Sandy now has five ambulances. One will remain in reserve as the four others are used to respond to calls for service, Cline said.
Sandy fire also received a grant in Dec. 2015 worth $266,000 to replace the department's 13-year-old air tanks and masks. Twenty-five old masks and tanks went through a similar surplussing process and were given to departments in Hilldale and Castle Valley, Utah for use or for parts, Cline said.