'Designer' ambulance about to go on the road in Camillus

Besides carrying the sick and injured, this new WAVES ambulance is expected to raise awareness of breast cancer

WAVES is putting a new ambulance on the road in Camillus shortly, and while the inside is 'standard,' the outside is designed to be a head-turner.

It is not your standard ambulance color: it's black, with designer logos promoting the partner in this venture, the Carol Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNY (Carol Baldwin is a Camillus resident).

The 'different' color does not present safety issues. Dan Taylor, with WAVES, says the pink and blue logos are all reflective, and the ambulance is as visible as a regular emergency vehicle. The custom design did create some paperwork issues however: The State Health Department had to make an exception and allow its 'certified' symbol in bright pink, instead of black and white, but Taylor says they were happy to, once they heard the reason.

The reason is to raise awareness about breast cancer. Taylor says, 'even if all it is, is a conversation starter that says wow, that's a beautiful ambulance, I didn't know they did anything about breast cancer. Oh, hey, when was the last time I had a mannogram or when was the last time I spoke to my doctor, or was aware of my risks or family risks. Any of those conversations are gonna be beneficial to the patients and we'd be happy if our ambulance is gonna be able to spark some of this."

Long-term, the goal for WAVES (Western Area Volunteer Emergency Services) is to cut down on its business. "We're always going to have heart attacks and strokes," says Taylor,"but if we can make even a small dent in one sub-category of medical problems we see, then we've done our jobs and had a very good day."

The custom-wrap is expected to last about a year. When it starts to wear, it'll be taken off and the ambulance is expected to go back to the fleet's normal white.

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