TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Despite long lead times Terre Haute Fire Department is now the proud owner of three new ambulances.

“The lead time on ambulances, fire engines, ladder trucks, are anywhere from 2 to 4 years now. It’s just everybody is backed up; supplies are backed up,” Fire Chief Bill Berry said.

Berry said they lucked out.

“We got fortunate when we went to one of our vendor’s and they had three unaccounted for on the assembly line. So, with the wear and tear and all of the runs we’re making today, our men and women really needed them.”

Berry said knowing the need, the mayor approved the purchase.

“We are making 1,000 to 1,200 runs more per year for the last three years. So, the run volumes went up, obviously causing more wear and tear on the ambulances. So, these new ambulances are going to be a great benefit to our firefighters, our paramedics, and the men and women on the job.”

Berry described the new ambulances, “We have three brand new Ford F550’s gasoline ambulances. They’re all 4-wheel drive. We had diesel ambulances. Obviously, diesel fuel now is more expensive than gasoline and so hopefully that’s a cost that we can cut for the taxpayers.”

In addition, the maintenance of the gasoline ambulances is said to be more cost-effective.