"We barely had time to gas it up and load our equipment before we got a response call," said EMT Kristian Nuckles. "We have been looking forward to the arrival of our new ambulance, because we needed it."
The total cost of the new 2006 Ford ambulance was $70,880, and was paid for with a FEMA grant of $67,336 and BI EMS funds of $3,544. Nuckles and Barry Riley, Caraway fire chief, prepared the application for the FEMA grant.
The new ambulance was custom built by Taylor Made Ambulances of Newport. Its interior walls and cab overhead is filled with contained storage space, seating and a lot of room to transport those in need of emergency care.
"Out of the 300 ambulances that Taylor made, they use this one to show on display," Tilley said. "They told us our ambulance is the nicest one they have built this year. This makes us very proud, as we wanted to get the best one we could, because we plan to keep it for a while."
"We are so thankful for the continued support we get from the people in the area we serve," said Jodie Brown, EMS director. "We make runs to Monette, Black Oak, Caraway, Leachville and Manila. We have EMTs on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
The ambulance staff of professionals include Michael Johnson, Kristen Johnson, Ernie Coker, Scott Browning, Nuckles, and Billy Ray Tilley. Active EMS Board of Directors include Director Brown, Moba Lee Miller, Randy Jackson, Bob Blankenship, and Bob Hurst Sr.
"Our service was established in 1980 and we have been serving Buffalo Island ever since," Miller said.
"We cover a 240 square mile area, and it keeps us busy," Nuckles said. "We don't have many idle minutes, as the people in the area think of us first when they need an ambulance, since we have a proven track record for service."