Honolulu EMS blesses new vehicles, equipment designed to respond in COVID-19 situation

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Emergency Medical Services on Thursday held a small blessing for several new life-saving vehicles and its personnel at the Keehi Lagoon Beach Park.

Four Ford F-350 ambulances, along with two emergency medical operational vehicles, will replace ambulances with 300,000 plus miles. The new vehicles cost $250,000 and will replace older rigs in Wahiawa, Kaneohe, Aiea, and Waialua by the end of the month.

“Our ambulances are under constant use, literally some of our ambulances can go days without the engine being turned off, so we are constantly having to cycle in and replenish those,” said Acting Honolulu EMS Chief Chris Sloman. “These ambulances are going to be going to all different parts of the island and replacing ambulances that are at the end of their service life, so that we can take them out and we’ll use them as reserves for the next few years.”

The new vehicles also come with new features that were designed to respond to the COVID-19 situation, including ultraviolet decontamination lights, dual air conditioning compressors, and barrier doors with windows separating the cab from the back of the ambulances.

Also part of Thursday’s blessing was a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Unit, which is equipped to monitor mass gatherings, has infrared and night cameras, and an onboard generator. The unit cost $295,000. A separate vehicle, Disaster Response-1, which carries supplies for disasters and mass casualties was the last to be blessed.

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