ANGOLA – The ambulance gods are not working for Steuben County.
After learning that the county would not be able to take delivery of the type of ambulance paramedics wanted for the Steuben County Emergency Medical Service in 2022 after soliciting bids in late 2021, a few additional issues developed. .
Offers received in December are no longer valid. In fact, Steuben County EMS Manager Stephen Bloom said prices have gone up 7%.
And supply issues are driving deliveries later in 2023 and even 2024.
Steuben County rejected initial offers and will offer two ambulances again.
“What we hope is that by bidding two we will get some sort of reduction,” Wil Howard, chairman of the board of commissioners, told Steuben County Council on Tuesday.
When bids were first opened on December 6, it was determined that two of the three bidders would not be able to deliver a finished product until mid-2023. The county has planned a new ambulance in 2022 and another in 2023.
That’s why the county is considering bidding for two new ambulances this year with hopes of delivery in 2023. Howard said it’s possible one of the units won’t arrive until January 2024.
Of the three companies that bid, one, from PL Custom, Elkhart, would supply a model that matches the newest member of the fleet. It would be best, Bloom said, for continuity so that paramedics have consistency while on the move, no matter what unit they’re on. All gear, gear placement, etc., would match other vehicles.
PL Custom’s ambulance also carries the highest price, at $253,274 in the December offering. If it increased by 7%, that would put the price at $271,003. December offers ranged from $231,435 to $253,274.
It has been suggested that SMU make do with fleet equipment – including one that has just undergone major repairs – and now buy two new ambulances. That would include one slated for purchase in 2022 and another slated for 2023. But neither would ship until 2023 at the earliest.
Another complication arose. With government units having replenished their tax coffers earlier this year, the chassis on which ambulances are built are beginning to be gobbled up by those ordering new ambulances.