CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Chatham's emergency medical technicians are now arriving at the scene in brand new ambulances.
"People can be rest assured that we are doing everything we can to make it as safe as possible," Chatham Emergency Services CEO Chuck Kearns said.
Chief Kearns says his unit already has six brand new ambulances and six more are set to be delivered within the coming days.
The new fleet of emergency vehicles was custom-made. Chief Kearns says the ambulances have a variety of safety features.
According to Chief Kearns, the older ambulances used to place the patient's cot on one side of the ambulance. Now, the cot is secured in the middle of the vehicle, which allows the technician to move around to tend to the patient's needs.
The ambulances also come with better lighting, especially for those who may be affected by the generic bright lights.
"It helps the patient's distress because photophobia is one of the side effects of migraine headaches. Bright lights cause more pain," Chief Kearns said.
Speaking of lights, each new ambulance also comes equipped with brighter emergency lights and more of them. Brake lights have been added near the top of the vehicles, which can alert drivers traveling further behind the ambulance.
"Those bright upper lights flash a few times, stay on, and will send a subliminal message to your brain that traffic is slowing and to pay attention," Chief Kearns said.
And if people don't see the ambulance coming, they'll definitely be able to hear it. Each new ambulance comes equipped with several sirens, including one which can be felt on the ground.
Chief Kearns says each ambulance costs around $100,000 and they're expected to last for more than 10 years.
As for the older vehicles, Chatham Emergency Services will inspect, fix, and donate the older ambulances to St. Joseph's/Candler which will distribute them to EMS teams in Africa.