Pair of new ambulances enter service at Ashland Fire & Rescue

Derek Pecalotto of Ashland Fire & Rescue in one of two new ambulances. photo by Holly Dillemuth
December 18, 2022

New models replace vehicles with about 15 years of service each

By Holly Dillemuth,

Ashland Fire & Rescue personnel are behind the wheels of two new ambulances after gifting two older models in their fleet to paramedics from their sister city partners in Guanajuato, Mexico in November.

Jackson County ambulance service areas, as shown in a Jackson County emergency services report. Ashland Fire & Rescue covers a vast rural area in addition to the Ashland city area.

The 2022 ambulances, which replace 2006 and 2008 models, came on board at the department in October. The vehicles are four-wheel drive and have expanded safety capacity and equipment, including a net and harnesses. The new ambulances cover the city of Ashland, which is six square miles, but ambulance services stretches out to 650 square miles, according to Chris Chambers, wildfire division chief.

Seated in the airway seat of the ambulance facing the gurney, Derek Pecolatto, of Ashland Fire & Rescue, gestured to the expanded space the ambulance provides paramedics and patients.

“It’s known as the Godzilla engine,” Pecalatto said, of the rig.

“It’s a lot more spacious, especially back here so we can get around either side of the patient,” Pecolatto said.

The vehicle is also rated for rollover accidents so in the event that the vehicle is involved in a rollover, patients on the gurney are safe. The gurney can also hold up to 750 pounds and is motorized so personnel can easily assist patients into the vehicle. 

Ashland Fire & Rescue Chief Ralph Sartain commented on the acquisition, which cost $440,000 for both vehicles, $120,000 below the allotted budget in the city’s vehicle replacement fund.

“We’re excited to have these new ambulances that allow our personnel to provide the highest level of service to the Ashland community,” Sartain said, via email. “And (that) we were able to stay under our budget is a big bonus.”

As Ashland Fire & Rescue personnel gathered around, telling a visitor about the new vehicles, and alarm tone went out, and personnel hurried to one of the ambulances to take the call for service.

Reach reporter Holly Dillemuth at

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Email him at

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