BESSEMER — Tires on Gogebic County’s new snow ambulances may soon be converted to skis.
Gogebic County Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Loeper on Wednesday unveiled one of the two new ambulances outside the sheriff's department following a county board meeting.
The little blue ambulances, which look like small electric-powered cars, have no motors, but include hitches and may be towed by snowmobiles or all-terrain vehicles.
Loeper told county board members every Upper Peninsula county will receive two snow ambulances through Homeland Security funding. He said they cost $6,000 apiece.
Snowmobile accidents often occur along trails deep in wooded areas and it can be difficult to get injured riders to the hospital. The ambulances may speed up the process in getting injured snowmobilers to the hospital and also could be helpful in search and rescue operations.
Loeper said backboards can be easily placed into the ambulances, providing for a more comfortable trip to a Beacon Ambulance or hospital than had previously been available by transporting the patient through the woods on a sled or toboggan.
Loeper told the county board one snow ambulance will be kept at the sheriff's department office and the other one will be used in Watersmeet.