$237,000 grant to replace aging Burney ambulance

BURNEY, Calif., — Burney Fire Protection District was excited to announce this week that the rural, Intermountain area firefighting agency had received a more than $237,000 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) to purchase a new ambulance.

The grant will allow BFPD to purchase an ambulance that will replace an aging and outdated 2012 model with over 200,000 miles logged and will bring one of the first ambulances to the region that is able to handle extremely large or bariatric patients, according to officials.


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On Sept. 21, just hours before BFPD’s regularly scheduled September Board meeting, the agency was notified by the Department of Homeland Security that the $237,380.95 grant had been awarded, allowing fire staff to immediately share the exciting news to the Fire District leadership and public in attendance, BFPD Chief Monte B Keady told SCNS over the weekend.

“The ambulance’s special loading equipment will handle the day to day transports and have the capacity for larger patients in excess of 450 lbs,” the Chief explained.

While fully equipped to handle nearly any emergency, bariatric ambulances are specifically designed and equipped to transport very large people and are capable of meeting the needs of obese patients who require transportation to a hospital or other health care facility, according to WiseGeek’s Lainie Petersen.

These ambulances are typically larger than average ambulances and are equipped with large, reinforced wheeled cots for patients as well as ramps that are capable of sustaining heavy loads.

They not only protect the dignity and well-being of those in need of such an accommodation, but can also protect emergency response workers who risk back strain and other injuries while attempting to transport heavier patients, she explained.

The total budget for the ambulance grant is $249,250 with $237,380.95 being the AFG award; leaving a five-percent match of $11,869.04 required by Burney Fire.

“Although there will be some cost to the Burney Fire District, the return on investment is extremely high,” Keady went on to explain.

“Last year we were unsuccessful in our grant application and the aging condition of our fleet and continued maintenance forced the District to purchase a new ambulance,” he continued; adding, “This year’s grant success was the result of Captain Bob May’s dogged efforts to improve the department’s submitted application.”

That recently-purchased ambulance replaced one still in service from 1989 and the older ambulance was later sold as surplus and the proceeds went to pay down some of the debt on the loan for its replacement.

“Already work has begun to find a new bariatric ambulance; however, this could prove to be a long process due to the effects that COVID-19 has had on the national vehicle supply,” the Chief went on to say; adding, “There may be up to 10 months to a year wait due to the availability of ambulance vehicles.”

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.