Ambulances in Whatcom County will have 60 new gurneys in early December, thanks to a federal grant.
The $192,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will standardize what kind of gurney is used throughout the county, helping medics load patients more quickly and cutting down on maintenance costs.
The money means gurneys that have been in use since the early '70s will be retired, said Fire District 11 Chief Duncan McLane, who applied for the grant.
"It was kind of like a Hail Mary," said McLane, whose district operates on Lummi Island. "It's nice to see the county's tax dollars are actually come back to it."
He considers the new equipment a 30-year investment.
The grant pays 80 percent of the cost. The remaining $48,000 is covered by the county's emergency medical services fund.
The new gurneys will be distributed throughout the county starting Dec. 4.