AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A new hybrid ambulance has been put into service for the Town of Amherst.

According to a news release sent to 22News from the Town of Amherst, it is one of the first hybrid ambulances to be used in Massachusetts. The new hybrid vehicle replaces a 2011 International ambulance and is assigned to the “A-1” unit from the Central Fire Station.   

The custom built ambulance is a hybrid vehicle that incorporates an idle mitigation system into its design. The idle mitigation system is designed to turn off the diesel engine when the vehicle is parked idling at emergency scenes to help reduce emissions. The ambulance switches over to a battery power system that keeps all essential systems, such as emergency lights, radios, heat/AC, etc., functioning.

The idle mitigation system cost an additional $25,000 paid for by a Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Green Communities Competitive Grant.