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Crew, Patient Escape HI Ambulance Fire

May 15, 2023

An engine fire in a Hawaii Fire Department ambulance is shining a spotlight on the wear and tear of emergency vehicles, KHON 2 reported.

The fire started as the ambulance was transporting a patient to the hospital, said Chief Kazuo Todd. The crew was able to take the patient out of the ambulance and move their equipment off the rig.

Another ambulance was called to take the patient to the hospital while firefighters extinguished the fire. No one was hurt.

The report did not say what caused the fire in the engine compartment.

"It's always a concern when we see an ambulance catches fire or any public safety vehicle catch fire," said Hawaii Fire Fighters Association President Bobby Lee.

Todd said 16 ambulances cover 4,000 miles of the island and typically drive 90,000 miles a year. The department see the lifespan of an ambulance lasting about three-to-five years.

The state funds county EMS departments and Hawaii County received five new ambulances last year and is looking for more this year.

In 2022, a deadly ambulance fire with a Honolulu Emergency Medical Services ambulance was caused by a faulty portable oxygen cylinder's regulatory assembly.