Rural/Metro unveils ambulances for West Orange
West Orange Chamber of Commerce members and local residents had a twinge of nostalgia last Wednesday when they toured five state-of-the-art ambulances that will serve more than 72,000 residents. The orange-and-blue trimmed ambulances will be dedicated to the three West Orange stations in Windermere, Winter Garden and Ocoee, which handle about 4,300 transports a year.
Last year, Winter Garden, Windermere and Ocoee approved one-year contracts with Rural/Metro Ambulance to become the first responders after Health Central announced that new arrangements would need to be made due to its pending merger with Orlando Health. Health Central and its predecessor, West Orange Memorial Hospital, had provided ambulance service since 1966.
Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn called Rural/Metro's service "outstanding."
"Rural/Metro is a very good partner," Winter Garden City Commissioner Bobby Olszewski told the crowd. "Thank you for the service."
Chamber President and CEO Stina D'Uva and former Florida Rep. Dick Batchelor were among those who toured the ambulances. The new ambulances are the latest in a series of initiatives intended to show Rural/Metro's commitment to the West Orange community.
The company's ambulances are typically white with a lime-green stripe, but the five local vehicles were painted to match the traditional blue and orange colors familiar to West Orange residents.
Rural/Metro is also sponsoring a series of "Safety Saturday in the Park" events, where it conducts hands-only CPR demonstrations and other activities aimed at keeping adults and children safe. The first such event was a success in Windermere on April 28.
The next Safety Saturday will be May 19 at Newton Park, located at 31 W. Garden Ave. in Winter Garden, and on June 2 at Freedom Park, located at 351 Thornebrooke Drive in Ocoee.