Hale County emergency services struggling with busted ambulances

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By WVUA 23 News Reporter Elise Anzaldua

Emergency medical services have been under strain for more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the national supply chain shortage is creating an unexpected hurdle in Hale County.

Hale County Emergency Medical Services is operating with three of its five ambulances because two of them were rendered inoperable. One caught fire and the other was totaled in a wreck.

“We were comfortable with five ambulances,” said Hale County Emergency Management Agency Director Russell Weeden. “Since we’re down to three, we may have the personnel but not the ambulances. Usually, we have the ambulances but not the personnel.”

Getting new vehicles right now is a whole lot harder than you’d think, especially for specialty vehicles like an ambulance.

“During COVID we had a lot more calls and we’d get a lot more wear and tear on the ambulances,” Weeden said. “It’s taken longer to get ambulances. Normally it would take three or four months to get a brand new ambulance, and now we’ve waited almost a year.”

The department said they’re scheduled to receive an ambulance before Christmas, and another one is coming in May.

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