The Town of Amherst, Massachusetts, has taken delivery of its first hybrid ambulance: a custom Horton model built on a 2021 Ford 4WD chassis. The new unit replaces a 2011 International ambulance and is assigned as the “A-1” unit from the town’s Central Fire Station.

The hybrid vehicle features an idle mitigation system, manufactured by “ZeroRPM,” that is designed to turn off the diesel engine when the vehicle is parked idling at emergency scenes. The ambulance switches over to a battery power system that keeps all essential systems, such as emergency lights, radios, heat/AC, and more functioning.

The idle mitigation system cost an additional $25,000, which was paid for by a Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Green Communities grant. The ambulance is projected to pay back its initial cost within five years of operation, based on savings for fuel and engine maintenance.

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