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County Executive Kittleman announces new type of ambulance coming to Howard County 

County Executive Kittleman announces new type of ambulance coming to Howard County 

October 19, 2018

Media Contact:
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today announced the Department of Fire and Rescue Services will be receiving a Horton model 603 Ambulance, which will be the first of its kind in the fleet. The vehicle is expected to be placed in service in late spring 2019.

The Horton model 603 ambulance will be on a Ford F550 4x4 chassis, which provides a shorter turning radius than a standard ambulance for maneuverability on tight streets and 4-wheel drive to respond during weather emergencies.  The vehicle will also be equipped with a new to Howard County technology, the ZeroRPM idle mitigation system. 

The ZeroRPM idle mitigation system will allow the ambulance’s engine to shut-off when the vehicle is idling while continuing to power the rest of the ambulance’s systems for up to two hours before restarting the engine to recharge. Ambulances on average idle an estimated four hours during every eight-hour shift.  By allowing the engine to shut off during idling, nearly 7,300 gallons of fuel will be saved during the life of the vehicle.  This also reduces the amount of preventative maintenance required and extends the life of the vehicle, saving taxpayers more money while the vehicle is in the fleet.

“Government should always be looking for ways to improve its service and provide maximum value for residents’ tax dollars.  This is our latest initiative to do just that,” said Kittleman. “We look forward to adding this ambulance to our front-line equipment in spring 2019 and we’re excited for the new direction our fleet is heading.” 

Not only will this save tax-payer dollars, but this will also have a significant positive environmental benefit. 

“We are always looking for new and creative ways to make the County’s fleet more reliable and efficient,” said Howard County Fleet Administrator Robert Phillips. “By conserving almost 7,300 gallons of fuel over the life of the vehicle, that will eliminate almost 150,000 pounds of CO2 from reaching the atmosphere.”  

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this would be the same greenhouse gas pollution reduction as planting 1,681 trees, taking 14 cars off the road for a year, powering 10 single family homes for a year, or replacing 2,171 incandescent lamps with LEDs. 

“The Department is continually searching for ways to improve how we serve our community, and we view this as a win-win for all,” said Interim Fire Chief Daniel Merson. “Overall, we feel like this is a tremendous step forward for our fleet.”

The County will also be replacing 72 vehicles to assist the Police and Sherriff’s Departments over the next several months. By restructuring the procurement process and leveraging the buying power of the County for these vehicles, while reducing the amount of post-purchase upfitting, the County was able to save over $600 per vehicle. 

“Our agencies and departments work collaboratively to ensure that tax-payer dollars are being maximized to provide the largest benefit,” said Chief Administrative Officer Lonnie R. Robbins. “Since Robert came on board more than a year and a half ago, he has brought tremendous creativity to re-thinking how the County maintains its fleet.  I look forward to the significant improvements this new direction will provide.”