Acadian Gains Access To "Hard To Reach" Emergencies

A new six-wheel all terrain-type vehicle will give medical personnel with Acadian Ambulance Service Inc. access to areas that are difficult - or impossible - to reach by ambulance.

"It's called a 4-by-6, and it is built in a medical configuration with a stretcher and medical bed (to handle patients). It's for use to access a patient in certain areas or situations where a full-size ambulance would have a difficult time maneuvering,'' said Butch Oberhoff, spokesman for the Lafayette, La., based company.

Oberhoff said the company has wanted a vehicle to reach areas of Jackson County bounded by lakes, marshes and waterways. Acadian provides emergency assistance in parts of Mississippi. The machine's trailer, Oberhoff said, will double as a command post during events and other special duties.

"It's an 8-by-20 free standing trailer,'' he said. "It will be fitted out as a command post for police and firefighters can use it to get out of the weather and be able to sit down and write a report. We can also use it as a first aid station, so if someone is overcome by heat we can bring them there.''

The Gator, built by John Deere, is among several items of new equipment Acadian is buying with $54,316 from the state Emergency Medical Service Operating Fund, which uses a portion of traffic fines to finance EMS programs statewide. Jackson County supervisors approved the vehicle and other equipment purchases this week.