Members of the University of Dayton student-run emergency medical service were surprised with a new ambulance, Wednesday, Jan. 29.
Under the leadership of Randy Groesbeck, Rescue Squad replaced its worn-out 1999 ambulance with a 2011 model, which will be mechanically reliable and is equipped with enhanced crew safety features, Groesbeck said.
Six UDRS members met at the College Park Center to see “new EMS equipment,” but all of them, except one, had no idea the new gear would already be theirs. UDRS Chief Sophia Raptis was the only member in on the new acquisition with Groesbeck, which has been in progress for the last few years.
Amid a fury of text messages to fellow members, tweets from the @UDSquad1 Twitter account and sounding off the new siren, squad members explored their new ride.
Groesbeck, UDRS adviser and Public Safety director of security and administration, highlighted the new ambulance’s main features which included a backup camera, two side blind-spot cameras, LED exterior lights and crew safety features which comply with the current industry standards.
In recent years, the old ambulance had been experiencing mechanical problems.
“On St. Patrick’s day last year, the ambulance stalled and didn’t work about three times,” said Raptis, a senior biology major.
Groesbeck said he had been monitoring the old ambulance, which was at the end of its useful service life, for several years.
“We’ve been assessing the ambulance for a while,” he said. “I’ve been keeping a close eye on it. You want to hit that sweet spot in time where you don’t replace it too early, but you don’t replace it too late.”
Groesbeck found that sweet spot just before this past Christmas when he started doing preliminary shopping.
“I came across this deal, and it saved a lot of money,” Groesbeck said. “I actually shortened the timeline a little bit, and said ‘We need to do this now because it’s cost-effective, and it’s prudent to replace it now.’”
Groesbeck said the university was going to need to replace it within the next six months.
Groesbeck said the university spent about $120,000 on replacing the old ambulance.
“A similar vehicle today, like this, would be about $150,000,” he said.
According to Groesbeck, interest in the squad may have increased with the purchase of the new ambulance.
“We’ve had a couple students who, when they’ve come for an admissions tour, come to visit the squad, and it has helped them to make their decision about UD. There are a number of universities across the nation that have a rescue squad on their campus … but not that many have an ambulance,” Groesbeck said.
The new purchase will help the estimated 60 UDRS members, all of whom have at least their EMT-basic certifications, provide the full gamut of ambulance services to the community, said Groesbeck.
Groesbeck and Raptis said the new ambulance was expected to be in service by the weekend of Feb. 1. Groesbeck estimated that this new vehicle would serve the university for about 13-14 years.
For more information about UD Rescue Squad, visit udayton.edu/students/squad/. In case of emergency when Rescue Squad is needed, contact Public Safety at 937-229-2121.