Davie Fire Department terminates ambulance contract

By David Volz
Special Correspondent
Posted May 15 2005

Davie The Fire Department has decided to look elsewhere for its new ambulances.

The Town Council recently voted to allow the department to terminate its contract with Wheeled Coach Industries for the purchase of six ambulances.

In 2003, the council awarded a contract to Wheeled Coach to supply nine ambulances over a five-year period, said Fire Chief Don DiPetrillo. Three have been delivered and are in use.

"We had problems with the design of the ambulances we received and had to spend time and money to bring them to our specifications," DiPetrillo said. "To make the changes on the additional ambulances would have cost about $30,000 per unit, so we decided to go with another company."

DiPetrillo declined to disclose the specific design problem because of potential legal action.

The town plans to purchase six additional ambulances and is looking at those offered by other vendors, said Herb Hyman, director of procurement.

Under the town's contract with Wheeled Coach, either party could terminate the contract with written notice, Hyman said, and the department chose to exercise that option.

In other news, the council approved an agreement with BellSouth to purchase a partial T-3 communication line inside the Police Department.

The department has telephone service with BellSouth. The remote communication site is outside the Police Department building, said Frank Apicella, technology and information manager.

"When this remote communications facility has a power outage that lasts longer than four hours, telephone service is interrupted at the Police Department, which means that telephone communication is unavailable for the public and other police agencies," he said.

Installing the T-3 line will solve the problem, he said.