New Ambulance for PCH Fleet

Thursday, December 3, 2015
Those on hand to inspect the new ambulance at PCH Monday morning included, from left: hospital board members David Gregory and Danny Brown; Mayor Jim Poole; hospital board member Paula O. Blackwell, PCH Emergency Department Director Greg Mallard, M.D.; State Senator Blake Johnson; hospital board members Keith Crittenden and Tom Sneed and PCH administrator James L. Magee.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

Piggott Community Hospital recently accepted delivery of a new ambulance, as the local facility continues to work to meet the needs of the community. Monday morning hospital administrator James L. Magee, staff members and the Health Care Facilities Board gathered to see the new unit, joined by State Senator Blake Johnson, of Corning.

In addition to Johnson and Magee, those on hand included Piggott Mayor Jim Poole, PCH Emergency Department Director Dr. Greg Mallard and board members Paula O. Blackwell, Tom Sneed, Danny Brown, Keith Crittenden and David Gregory.

The ambulance features a new 2012 GMC 3500 chassis, with diesel engine, while the "box" unit was refurbished.

"We were able to have one of our existing boxes refurbished, and mounted on this new chassis," Magee explained. "By going that route it saved us thousands of dollars off the cost of a new unit."

The cost of the new chassis and refurbishment and mounting of the box unit totaled around $83,000. The effort also benefited from grant money, some of which was provided by Johnson.

"We got around $28,000 in grant money, including some from the East Arkansas Planning and Development District and a USDA Rural Development grant," Magee added. "The grant monies from the USDA were also matched by funds provided by Senator Johnson."

Thanks to the lower cost of the refurbished box, and the grant funds, Magee noted the investment was substantially less than previous ambulance purchases. "In essence we got a $100,000-plus ambulance for about $53,000 of the hospital's funds," he offered. "We appreciate Senator Johnson's support on helping make this happen, and we also want to say a word of thanks to Mayor Jim Poole, and the city council, for working with us on this project."

Johnson noted his support of the worthwhile effort. "I fully understand the needs of our communities, and was glad I could help," he added.

Afterward, Magee gave the first-term state senator a guided tour of the local hospital.

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