Greene questions damage to ambulances

TONASKET – Tonasket’s ambulances keep turning up with mysterious issues, and EMS director Michael Greene hopes that making the public aware of the situation will bring information to light about who is responsible.

“Somebody has been sabotaging our ambulances,” Greene said. “I’m not the paranoid type, but the things that have happened lately pretty much eliminate any other possibility.”

Greene said that during the past several months, most of the damage has been discovered through his department’s preventive maintenance procedures before something catastrophic could have happened.

He said it started about six to eight months ago when lug nuts on the wheels of two ambulances were discovered to be loose.

“It made no sense, because we do a good job with our maintenance,” he said. “Then last week we took one of the ambulances in for its quarterly maintenance, and the bolts had been loosened on the transfer case.

“The garage said they’d never seen them back out on their own and we had only driven 100 miles on that ambulance since it had been checked. We also had some suspension bolts that were loose. I took the other two right in and found problems with the other ones as well.

“Something had to have been done by a person.”

He added that it was fortunate happenstance that he will be taking a medical leave at the  end of this week; because of that he had the quarterly maintenance taken care of early, before he was laid up.

Greene said that law enforcement has been contacted and is investigating the incidents.

“I’m very concerned,” Greene said. “Something is the matter here. I talked to (Police Chief) Rob Burks. I’ve talked to the EMS advisory board about our security concerns, and our locks have been upgraded.

“I have my suspicions as to who might be responsible and I’ve passed those suspicions on to law enforcement. But if we hadn’t been doing preventive maintenance the way we have we’d be in big trouble.”

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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