Walton County introduces new vehicle


A local fire department unveils a rare new addition to their list of emergency vehicles. Firefighters in Walton County say this is a big deal for our area. 

“We are excited to introduce our first non-emergency transport vehicle,” shared Tracey Vause, Walton County Fire, and Rescue, EMS Chief.

This new rescue van is unique not just to DeFuniak Springs, but ITS unique to north Walton county as a whole. Firefighters say this vehicle will make a big difference in how they operate.

“This is what we call a type two ambulance which means it is a van and on a van chassis. It’s capable of managing multiple types of calls but, we are specially going to use this for nonemergency transport,” explained Cheif Vause.

Chief Vause says, the need for non-emergency transport in Walton County is on the rise and has been for the last year. “More and more cases have been called in through our call center and we have used a 911 ambulance to manage it.”

Which was not the most efficient because it tied up emergency.

“Probably one of the biggest benefits is the fact that we keeping our front line ALS, 911 ambulances in service rather than taking them out to do lower acuity work,” said Vause.

That’s not the only perk to this new vehicle. It will eliminate the heavy lifting that the first responders used to do. The type of gurney in this transport makes the job just a little easier. All they do is get the patient safely secure on to the gurney. Then press a couple of buttons, mechanically moving the legs to tuck underneath and slide the patient into the vehicle, with very little effort or force exerted. 

“Often hospitals will need to get a patient back from the emergency department back to a nursing home or a residence. You don’t always need an advanced life support ambulance to achieve that. This apparatus gives us the ability to do it with care specific, care appropriate equipment and staff,” said Chief Vause.

The goal is to have this vehicle in commission by August 1. 

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