Hospital going back to gasoline ambulances

    Adams Health Network (AHN) trustees, at their meeting on Wednesday, appointed Nick Nelson, director of support services at the hospital, to be in charge of selling unused or unwanted equipment, vehicles, or buildings that have a value of less than $30,000.
    One of the locations that may be affected will be the building most recently used to house the Pathways Adult Day Care Center which was closed in 2012. Hospital officials said the structure has some water damage from rain leaking into it and most certainly would fall under the $30,000 value.
    Nelson reported to the board on two other separate matters, including the fact that the hospital is in the process of purchasing a new modular ambulance from the Life-Star Company of Van Wert, Ohio, for approximately $140,000.
    Nelson said when the hospital has replaced ambulances in recent years, they have primarily removed the ambulance box and purchased a new chassis.
    “Our youngest box we have on any of our ambulances is 15 years old,” Nelson reported.
    The purchase will reverse a recent trend of purchasing a diesel fuel chassis with a regular gasoline chassis since a new federal mandate says that a special additive will have to be added to the fuel tanks of new diesel fuel vehicles purchased. Nelson said the fleet of ambulances in Indianapolis is nearly 100 percent gasoline and they have reported virtually no problems whatsoever while diesel engines do not operate quite as well in colder weather.
    The new ambulance also has a twist in design modification as although the box will be nearly identical to the current ambulance box, the side doors will slide open instead of opening out as most vehicle doors do, making it safer when parked along the side of a highway.
    The Adams County Commissioners provide the hospital a yearly stipend to assist in replacing ambulances in Adams County with five vehicles currently in service.
    Meanwhile, Nelson reported the work of connecting internet services to all of the AHN facilities from Geneva to Monroeville is proceeding ahead of schedule. He said the Community Fiber Solutions (CFS) group is providing fiber optic connections and asked to locate an equipment box on the hospital property (that could contain connections for other businesses as well).
     In exchange for that agreement, CFS will be hooking up the Evergreen Court Apartment complex with Internet services as well for free (the complex was not originally in the agreement).
    Since the trustees were meeting for the first time in 2013, they were required to conduct a brief reorganizational meeting prior to the start of the business discussions.
    The status quo was kept in effect with Dr. Robert E. Judge being renamed chairman of the board, Russ Flueckiger the vice chairman, Louise Ray the secretary, Dane Wheeler the treasurer, Linda Gorman the assistant treasurer, and Adam Miller of the Burry, Herman, Miller and Brown law firm of Decatur being retained as legal counsel. All reappointments were unanimous.