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Sacramento Fire Ambulances With Diesel Exhaust Problems To Be Replaced

The Sacramento City Fire Department will replace at least six of its ambulances because of diesel exhaust problems.

Firefighter Chris Harvey says paramedics have smelled diesel in the cabs and backs of the ambulance for several months.

"That's a significant problem." says Harvey. "Using our fire shop mechanics, using Ford mechanics from two separate dealerships here in Sacramento, we were unable to mitigate that issue and so it was decided to replace the ambulances."

Harvey says the exhaust cleaning systems were designed for vehicles that take lengthy trips at high operating temperatures, not for engines that take short, frequent trips.

The units were purchased in 2008.

The Sacramento City Council has approved $886,000 to replace them with gasoline engines.

The department believes eight other ambulances will soon develop the same problem. The city council will likely decide next week whether to approve money to replace those units as well.

Harvey says the department hopes to save money by using the existing ambulance shells and installing them on new engines and chassis.