Paramedics and ambulance technicians in Tayside have racked up more than £55,000 in repair bills after pranging their vehicles throughout 2019.
The Scottish Ambulance Service has recorded a total of 46 incidents involving vehicles which are stationed across the region – an average of just under one incident a week.
Two of the incidents involved eye-watering five-figure repair bills of £16,254 and £13,747 apiece. Both vehicles were based out of the Accident and Emergency department at Perth Royal Infirmary.
And 15 of the incidents logged involved £499 of repairs apiece, while 19 were zero-cost collisions involving only superficial damage.
High repair bills for ambulances are understood to be due to the generally lower costs of repairing ambulances compared with replacing them outright.
The highly specialised nature of ambulance production, together with the specialist equipment installed in each vehicle, means it can be more cost-efficient to repair damaged vehicles.
A typical ambulance costs £119,000, according to official Scottish Ambulance Service documents, covering the cost of purchasing the vehicle itself and subsequently converting it and kitting it out for medical use.
The most expensive repair in Tayside this year was just more than one-tenth of the price of replacing the ambulance completely.
“Rapid response” cars – formally known as Paramedic Response Units (PRUs) – that are deployed as first responders in major incidents cost around £29,500.
Other vehicles deployed in large-scale emergency situations as part of the service’s National Risk and Resilience Department can cost up to £250,000.
The Scottish Ambulance Service spends approximately £13 million each year on upgrading response vehicles.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with Evening Telegraph newsletter
A spokesman for the service said the actual rate of accidents as a proportion of all ambulance journeys is comparatively low.
He said: “In any one year we respond to more than half a million blue-light emergencies, many of which are at speed.
“Despite this the number of accidents in our fleet remains low – we consistently record the lowest rate of accidents of all other UK ambulance services.”