SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - They say it's bigger, better and safer. Southaven's Fire Department spent the last year building a new state of the art ambulance.
The city has four ambulances used 24 hours a day. This newest one is supposed to be the best in the state. It went into service last week.
Southaven built the ambulance from the ground up, the first of its kind.
"It provides a better, smoother ride for the patient," says Malena Alderman, the fire department's Public Information Officer.
With EMS crews going on an average ten calls a day, it's about to be well used.
"That's the only extended cab throughout the state, so it provides a little bit more room," Alderman says. She adds it was built with patient's comfort and fire fighter's safety in mind.
The back is covered with red, reflective stripes. They're part of the ambulance's new safety features. The lights on it are also LED, all designed to make it more visible when EMS crews are on the road.
"If they're on the side of the road working a car accident, as people drive by they can see the personnel working and it provides a lot more safety," Alderman tells abc24.com.
She says in the future every ambulance will have the stripes. They're just one of the features Southaven specified.
"Our EMS coordinator actually wrote the specs for this unit, so it's very specific layout for the city." She says they thought about everything from where supplies are kept to the oxygen ports.
"He sought input from paramedics who'd actually be staffing it, so it's easier for them to maneuver and work in the back safely."
All that customization comes at steep price. The ambulance cost almost $150,000, paid for by the city and grant money.