SHOW LOW — Last year Deputy Chief Randy Chevalier of the Timber Mesa Fire and Medical District successfully wrote a grant to provide the Fire District with a new ambulance. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program’s stated goals are to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.
Timber Mesa provides not only fire response but also responds to nearly 3,000 medical emergencies each year. To provide that service to the City of Show Low, the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside, the Linden community, the White Mountain Lake community and the surrounding areas of unincorporated Navajo County, an area of nearly 440 square miles, the District staffs five ambulances strategically positioned throughout the region.
In addition to 9-1-1 calls for service, the Fire District also provides interfacility transportation for patients leaving Summit Hospital for specialty care at other hospital facilities around the State. Timber Mesa transports approximately 360 interfacility patients per year to hospitals in Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff. In rare cases, patients have been transferred as far away as Las Vegas to receive the level of care they needed.
Timber Mesa maintains a fleet of seven ambulances; the five previously mentioned, as well as two reserve units used when an ambulance needs to be serviced, or as additional units during busy weekends or periods of high call volume. To keep seven ambulances in rotation, it is necessary for the Fire District to purchase a new ambulance at least every other year. The AFG grant for the purchase of a new ambulance saved the taxpayers of the Fire District more than $150,000 this year alone.
Chief Chevalier said, “We have taken delivery of the new ambulance and we are currently in the process of up-fitting the unit with the necessary equipment for service. Once complete the new ambulance with be in-service at station 15 in downtown Show Low.”