The Phelps emergency medical services (EMS) department recently received a new Ford F-450 LifeLine Superliner ambulance to replace the 2010 LifeLine vehicle.

“The ambulance was paid through an anonymous donation along with the monies we collected through the Picnic in the Park held annually in July, the golf outing at Sand Lake Golf Course held annually in August, and the Blizzard Blast held in January and February in conjunction with Conover and Land O’ Lakes. And of course, the residents of Phelps who sponsor and support all these events,” said Carole Selin, EMS supervisor. The vehicle cost $271,256.

Some of the features offered by the new ambulance are four-wheel drive and antimicrobial film on the entire interior of the patient compartment. This chemical reduces germs and odor-causing bacteria and is 99.99% effective against a broad spectrum of microorganisms including strep, influenza, E. coli, salmonella, H1N1, MRSA, and norovirus. 

The ambulance also includes a new Motorola radio, which has the capability to work with Michigan’s trunking system.

“We are working on adding them and the WISCOM (Wisconsin Interoperable System for Communi­cations) trunking system. Both state systems will help in any emergency,” she added.

“Our cellphone was replaced with a FirstNet router — with a good antenna on the roof of the ambulance, this will give us better coverage and will connect to our smartphones.”

Selin also said that the department added 5G Wi-Fi through the FirstNet router which will increase the range of service when EMS members have to send an EKG to hospitals.

“This is important for us to transmit 12-lead (electrocardiogram) from our ambulance to the hospital for better patient care,” said Selin. “As we all know, cellphone coverage is low in some areas of our ambulance service.” 

Finally, this ambulance also has an upgraded ambulance electric stretcher with a power lift. This helps the EMTs load the patients into the ambulance without hurting their backs and limbs. It can lift patients who weigh up to 700 pounds.

Selin said that the primary service area of Phelps EMS has a total of 282 miles with a year-round population of 2,707 residents. The total increases during the summer vacation season, as well as during hunting and snowmobile seasons. 

There are more than 200 miles of state, county and town roads, and 86.5 miles of snowmobile trails along with 54 lakes, totaling 12,050 miles. The department also covers the towns of Alvin and Nelma and a portion of Stambaugh Township in Iron County, Mich.