Credit: Via Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad

The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad bought two new ambulances that it started using last week.

The ambulances are state-of-the-art 2018 freight liners that increase the squad’s ability to respond to emergencies, squad Chief Edward Sherburne said Tuesday.

“They’re fantastic new units,” he said.

Both ambulances include a power load function, which automatically lifts a patient—up to 700 pounds—into the vehicle after responders place them in a stretcher. The process is safer for both the patients and the responders because there’s no lifting involved, Sherburne said.

Other features include improved computer controls as well as better warning lights and reflective striping to increase visibility and safety.

The additional ambulances bring the squad’s total to seven, including three operating out of the Old Georgetown Road station, one from the Democracy Boulevard station and three spares for reserve purposes. The new ambulances will be the squad’s primary units for responding to medical emergencies.

The ambulances cost $325,000 each, which Sherburne said is “par for the course” for quality ambulances, and were purchased with charitable donations and funding from Montgomery County’s EMS Transport fee program and state grants. The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization that is integrated into the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service. It responded to 8,824 calls last year.