Life After the Streets: The transformation of B18 into a Marlings Vehicle
This is not a sordid tale of ill repute or a clandestine affair but a true story about the life and rebirth of B18. For those individuals familiar with the Goodwill Fire Company in Old New Castle, you know who B18 is, better yet, what she is. B18 is the Basic Life Support Ambulance put into service in 2006. She was the primary ambulance during the approximate years of ’06 to 2012 when she was then joined by A18.
B18 is a Chevrolet C4500 and her original cost in 2006 was approximately $180,000. The C4500’s ranged in style from buses to pickup trucks, box trucks to ambulances. Chevy debuted the Kodiak C4500 truck at the Chicago Auto Show in 2006 with a starting sticker price of $70,000. There is a substantial investment necessary for ambulance conversions.
These beauties spend hours on the road and require a lot of TLC. Goodwill EMS responded to 1992 calls last year which averaged 5.4 runs per day. That is a lot of “street” time for an older girl like the B18. Necessary expenditures are required for maintenance and upkeep of the entire fleet. B18 required a new diesel engine while she was in service. As one can imagine, this expense was not mild. Volunteer Fire Companies do receive state and local funding from grants and programs as well as tax dollars. There is also an annual Fund Drive which generates some additional money. Obviously there is a continual need for support of all Volunteer Fire Companies.
A decision was made last year to take “Good ‘Ole B18” out of service as she performed with honor and dignity and it was time to move her into retirement. Local business, Marling’s Emergency Cleaning & Restoration got wind that Good Will would be placing B18 for sale. Marling’s provides emergency cleanup of fire, smoke and water damage and has been serving the community since 1989. Owner, John Marling felt that an ambulance would work well with his fleet of vehicles; hence, the rebirth of B18.
The sale was finalized and the transformation of B18 into a board up and contents vehicle began. B18 was painted white and then wrapped to resemble the rest of the Marling’s fleet. Through her makeover many things changed but one feature remained consistent. She still bears the Number B18. She is a beautiful vehicle that still responds to emergencies but now her job is to aid with a structure and its contents. You may see B18 out on the road around Delaware as Marling’s, Inc. holds the state contract for Fire & Water Mitigation.
The renovation of B18 from an ambulance to a different type of emergency response vehicle has been well received by many. Good Will Fire Company, the board, staff and volunteers were able to breathe new life into B18 by selling her to a local business that is also focused on helping people. What better way for B18 to carry on with her life “after the streets”!