Crime - Sacto 911

Aging ambulances, fire engines find new role as teaching tools

Aging ambulances and fire vehicles that are no longer reliable enough for emergency responses are being put to use as teaching tools.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District on Friday delivered two surplus ambulances to the paramedic program at American River College. Students will have an opportunity to learn how to perform various medical tasks, including CPR and starting IVs, from the back of ambulance, according to a fire district news release.

In January, the emergency medical technician program at Sierra College was the recipient of an ambulance, and recruits at the college’s fire academy have been learning firefighting skills on a fully functional engine donated by the Sacramento Metro fire district.

Over the past nine years, fire district officials said, the district has donated approximately 25 vehicles to smaller fire districts, volunteer districts and college programs. For agencies with minimal funding for new equipment, they said, a donated engine may be their frontline apparatus for responding to emergencies.

“For local programs and fire departments, our donated vehicles open doors that might otherwise remain closed,” Chief Mark Wells said in a written statement. “Metro Fire is giving back to the community, while ensuring our citizens continue receiving the highest level of care.”

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.