Christmas came early at the San Antonio Fire Department today, as the department took delivery of 18 brand new, high tech ambulances, more than $5 million in life saving technology, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Fire Chief Charles Hood says the ambulances will replace old vehicles which are cycling out of service after 200,000 miles, which is the routine standard of service for an ambulance.
He says these new ambulances are equipped with many new features, including a special light that can kill germs.
"As you can imagine, an ambulance is a Petri dish of germs and diseases," he said. "So to be able to close them up and turn a light on that will kill those germs, will make the firefighters and paramedics who work in them healthier."
Each one is alos equipped with a 'power load' system to deal with today's heavier patients, and to avoid having paramedics throwing their backs out lifting patients into ambulances.
And they all have what is called a Lucas Device, which is essentially a robot paramedic, which will perform basic services while the humans are providing other types of lifesaving care.
"It is an additional paramedic in a box, basically, because it will do the CPS and compressions for us, at the right rate and the right depth."
The new ambulances are also theft proof, requiring a paramedic's command to open the doors and start. The SAFD has had two ambulances stolen this year.