The Sprinter ambulances (pictured) cost less to purchase and maintain, and consume less fuel than the full-size fire medic vehicles, according to a district news release. Although the passenger compartment is smaller, patients in the back of the ambulances will be just as comfortable as in the larger vehicles, officials said, and the same medical equipment will be used.
With the launch of the Single Role Paramedic Program earlier this year, the district was able to reduce costs while enhancing its ability to respond to medical emergencies, officials said, explaining that the role of paramedics and emergency medical technicians on these ambulances will be strictly medical. Because they will not engage in firefighting, they don't need specialized firefighting gear and equipment, allowing the district to use smaller ambulances with less storage space.
Officials said the remainder of the district's ambulance fleet is expected to be replaced with the smaller ambulances in 2014.
Photo courtesy Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District