AMBULANCE bosses are preparing for another snowy and icy winter by fitting out their emergency services with specialist winter tyres.
East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) is putting the Michelin tyres – which are a legal requirement in European countries more used to snow such as Germany and Austria – in the coming weeks to improve safety.
The move comes after the last two winters have seen severe snowfall play havoc with driving conditions in south Lincolnshire.
Fleet manager Steve Farnsworth said: “The last couple of winters have seen severe weather conditions across the East Midlands which has put pressure on our service and affects our ability to reach patients quickly.
“We managed to reach patients despite the weather but using cold weather tyres will help us get there a little bit faster and safely.
“We are always looking for ways to improve things for the benefit of staff and patients and this is a great example of us doing just that.”
The ambulances’ standard tyres will be stored and refitted during late March or April.
Steve added: “The replacement programme should be complete by the middle of November so we’ll be prepared for winter even if it does start early.”
Heating oil delivery specialists Rix Petroleum, based at Welland Business Park in Clay Lake, has also invested in winter tyres and snow chains following predictions of another harsh winter.
Robin Exley, manager of Rix Petroleum’s Spalding depot, said: “We are keen to ensure that we are fully prepared for the winter, no matter what it has to throw at us. We generally adhere to the ‘hope for the best but prepare for the worst’ philosophy in an effort to do our bit for our customers.
“Last year took everyone by surprise – the weather was unprecedented. We expect a bit of snow every year but we didn’t expect it to go on for weeks.
“Although during that time we didn’t miss an order, we feel this is an excellent move to help our customers and our drivers get through what could be another challenging winter.”