DETROIT (WWJ) – Something new coming to the streets of Detroit… 13 new ambulances.

Receipt of the new EMS units brings the number of new rigs on the streets of Detroit to 23, replacing the city’s entire fleet of EMS units. Detroit mayor Dave Bing thanks corporate and philanthropic donors for making purchase of the state-of-the-art vehicles possible.

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“Back in February of this year we had a lot of issues as it related to our units on the streets that were available. It’s a known fact that the city didn’t have money to go out and purchase vehicles,” says Bing.

Business and philanthropic leaders were asked to help, and raised $8-million now being used to move Detroit forward. Detroit Fire Commissioner Donald Austin says there will soon be new drivers to man the vehicles as well.

“Monday morning we start another class of 21 EMS technicians. About two months ago, we just graduated a class of 26. Behind the 21 EMS technicians that will be starting on Monday, we have another class of 30 set up. So we’re going to start feeding people into this system, so that we can come to the citizens’ aid,” says Austin.

(Photo Credit: Pat Sweeting/WWJ Newsradio 950)

(Photo Credit: Pat Sweeting/WWJ Newsradio 950)

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And EMS tech Rodman Seay says the new rigs are a big upgrade.

“We have more cabinet space for more equipment. We also have a longer base to put more personnel in here. It’s very bright in here, at nighttime, 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning when you’re trying to save a person’s life you need all the light you can,” says Seay.

Another worker, Michael Wilson, has been on the job in Detroit for the past 20 years. And he says he likes the new rigs.

“With the new technology you get real-time information and more information, which allows us to get to the scene rapidly and also get correct information to not put anybody in danger,” says Wilson.

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The new ambulances feature up-to-the minute technology and bring the number of new rigs now on the streets to 23.