Dear St. Louis Fire:
This is an open letter to try to help you and the city solve your ambulance problem. Allow me to qualify this with something I think needs to be stated, St. Louis Fire does an excellent job in delivering EMS. It is clear that your current model delivers excellent care and allows EMS to govern its own. You also have a robust mutual aid system utilizing your local private Advanced Life Support providers to ensure your citizens are well taken care of in times of system overload. Overall your system is to be respected.
So here comes the criticism. I recently read that you are wanting to increase the taxes on your citizens to purchase several new trucks at a cost of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars apiece. Now, far be it from me to begrudge any ambulance upfitter the significant increase this will make to their bottom line, but I can’t see this as the best solution for the taxpayers of St. Louis. So I will try to point out a better solution.
As a paramedic in a Urban setting, I understand the city can be busy and restocking can be difficult so there is a need for modular units. So that has to be part of your bid process. But in my humble opinion, wouldn’t the city be better served by moving to a type 3 Sprinter Modular unit.
While it has been a while since I speced out an ambulance, but I would bet that a sprinter Type 3 with custom interior designed to your needs would save between seventy five and one hundred thousand dollars. It will also fuel costs and have lower maintenance costs. These savings could be used to put more crews on the streets improving coverage.
It seems to me that St. Louis should continue their tradition of proving that Fire Based EMS can provide excellence. Many places don’t hold up to scrutiny, but St. Louis has. The City of St. Louis, and its citizens would thank you. Please continue providing the amazing care you are known for.
Just a humble suggestion,