CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Sound the sirens! Chesterfield County announced plans to bring in four new ambulances to help service the community and respond the county’s thousands of emergency calls.

The new emergency vehicles have been in the works for some time. However, ordering a new ambulance isn’t as easy as ordering just any new vehicle. According to Sal Luciano with the Chesterfield County Fire Department, it can be a lengthy process.

“These actual ambulances were purchased two years ago,” Luciano explained. “It’s not like you could have an issue with an ambulance or any other piece of equipment and think you’re going to turn around and buy it and have it in a short period of time. You really can’t.”

Unlike ordinary cars or trucks, a shortage in ambulances could cost lives. For this reason, Luciano’s team worked as proactively as possible to prevent the shortage of ambulances from becoming a concern.

“In order to provide those kinds of services, we need to have the ambulances on the road,” Luciano said.

The department is all too familiar with the critical nature of EMS rescues. Therefore, preparation is key.

“We always want to make sure that we have the resources in terms of firefighters, EMT’s, paramedics, employees,” Luciano said. “But you also need that piece of equipment to get them there and then get the folks to the hospital.”

Last year, the department handled about 50,000 calls, 40,000 of which were EMS calls. That means lots of trips for the county’s ambulances.

“So you could see the wear and tear that vehicles and equipment get,” Luciano clarified.

A team recently headed up to New Jersey, where the units were developed, to inspect the vehicles one last time before they made their way to central Virginia.

The new ambulances will have four-wheel-drive and up-to-date technology in order to not only meet the needs of Chesterfield County, but of the ever-evolving central Virginia community.

“You know, the area is changing,” Luciano said. “It’s growing.”

The new units are expected to arrive within the next few weeks.