OLATHE, Kan. — As supply chain issues continue, leaders in Johnson County are working to secure replacement ambulances for Johnson County Med-Act services.

Thursday, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a plan to reallocate money for 2023 and 2024 Med-Act ambulance replacements to be purchased this year. 

The board unanimously approved reallocating $2.9 million from the county general fund to the Med-Act equipment reserve fund and the use of $400,000 from the existing Med-Act equipment reserve fund to purchase 13 ambulances.

Med-Act Director Paul Davis said the county fleet replacement cycle will likely fall behind schedule based on current supply chain issues.

“We found that limited order opportunities and extensive delays of at least 24 months are expected through 2026. We expect a limited order bank will be open through our vendor in the next week or so,” Davis said.  

The money will be used to purchase eight Braun ambulances and five remounts from Pinnacle Emergency Vehicles. Davis said ordering now will make it more likely for ambulances to be replaced as close to the original timeline as possible. 

“This is just another one of those situations, from a budgeting standpoint, that we have to be prepared for in making adjustments [for] ourselves as a county in preparation for these types of issues that arise,” Commissioner Jeff Meyers said.

Based on current production delays and the ongoing chassis shortage, the new ambulance units aren’t expected to be complete until late 2024 or early 2025. Davis said replacement ambulances ordered for Med-Act in early 2021 weren’t delivered until April of this year.

The county typically maintains each ambulance for about seven years, including four years as a front line vehicle, and three years as a reserve vehicle. 

At the beginning of 2022, Med-Act operated a fleet of 21 front line ambulances and 10 reserve ambulances. Units scheduled to be replaced this year are roughly 9 years old with an average mileage of about 204,000 miles. 

Ambulances scheduled for replacement in 2023 and 2024 are of a similar age with an expected average mileage of 175,000.