SE Wisconsin gets its first "off-road" ambulance

Ambulance can go places most rescue vehicles can't
Posted at 10:23 PM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 23:26:59-05
The West Allis Fire Department is bringing Southeast Wisconsin its first off-road ambulance, after more than two years of working to get it here.  Madison and Green Bay are the only other departments in the state with one.   
The mini ambulance can go places most rescue vehicles can't even attempt.
"It truly offers us additional capabilities that are better for the patient," said Assistant Fire Chief Kurt Zellmann"The Zoo Interchange is a huge off-road area for us that we can't get in with our normal size ambulance."
The Hank Aaron State Trail is another place firefighters can now go because of the new vehicle. 
"We've had a number of calls in that where we've had to go significant distances to get to patients," said Zellmann.
Zellmann said ambulance will be a huge help at State Fair Park.
"Having the ability to drive this vehicle right to a patient through the crowds quickly and have the patients in some semi-privacy and air conditioning is a huge advantage," said Zellmann.
The off-road ambulance is equipped to respond to natural disasters.
"It has an on board generator so it can provide 110 volts in a remote location.  The search light there will light up to two acres," said Zellmann. 
The mini ambulance cost $73,000.  $9,000 came from the Emergency Management Supply Budget and grants covered the rest. 
"Based on our central location they felt we were a good fit for the device or the ambulance because we'll also offer it to other cities," said Zellmann.
The six-wheel drive vehicle goes up to 48 miles per hour.  Training for drivers is mandatory. 
"What if you roll it what if you put it in a bad spot learning how to handle it on steeper terrain is definitely something that was fun to try and learn," said Lt. Brandon Foley.
The all-terrain ambulance is built to take on all weather conditions. 
"We're gonna save lives," said Lt. Foley.
The vehicle should officially be ready to roll Friday afternoon.  

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