6 city ambulances out of service awaiting repairs, putting stress on emergency fleet
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Six city ambulances are out of service in need of repairs, in a situation putting new stress on the Honolulu’s emergency services.
The city confirms the ambulances need replacement parts and other repairs before they can be used again, and there’s no immediate timeline for when several will be back on the road.
The ambulances represent about a third of the city’s ambulance fleet.
On Friday, the ambulances were parked at various Ford dealerships on Oahu. The city says some have been there at least a month.
In most cases, the city would use its own mechanics for repairs. But if the vehicle is still under warranty or needs some kind of recall work it has to be taken to the dealership.
“We’re down to just a few spares now as far as our reliever fleet so we really need to get them back,” said Dr. James Ireland, director of Honolulu’s Emergency Services Department.
He said the emergency vehicles are spread between three Ford dealerships on the island. Some were pulled off the road after a parts recall.
“For the replacement of springs in the ambulance for suspension,” Ireland said.
He said the rest need repairs still covered under warranty. Meanwhile, wait times have gotten longer.
Ireland said, “We’re finding now it’s taking anywhere from three to up 10 weeks to get them back.”
He said repairs on an ambulance dropped off at Honolulu Ford in December were just completed this week. Another one has been there since January 25.
On Friday, HNN spotted three Honolulu EMS ambulances in the Kalihi lot.
Jon Le, the dealership’s service manager, confirms one of the ambulances has been there for “about a month.” In an email, he said delays are due to “supply chain issues” and that as soon as parts arrive work begins.
Le added, “Under these circumstances, we have received no complaints at all about the delay from the city’s fleet manager.”
Ireland says his office called Honolulu Ford four times over the past week and that those calls weren’t returned. It’s an issue he hasn’t had with other dealerships, he said.
“We know everyone’s busy but these are ambulances,” Ireland said.
The city says Honolulu Ford returned its phone calls Friday afternoon, shortly after HNN started asking questions.
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