ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – The St. Charles County Ambulance District says it’s saving millions by recycling ambulances.

They send the old ambulance about two hours away to Osage Ambulances down in Linn, Missouri, to be remounted. It’s where the old top of the ambulance is attached to a new chassis.

St. Charles County Ambulance District Deputy Chief Jeremey Hollrah said there are big savings for taxpayers. He estimated about $2 million in savings since 2018.

“About every seven years, based off mileage and wear and, tear, we take the ambulance and actually do what’s called a remount process,” Hollrah said. “We’ll send it off to the manufacturer, where they actually take the box part of the ambulance off and put a new chassis underneath it. You get multiple uses out of the box, and you get a brand-new chassis underneath it, which actually gives you 25 years out of the box and seven years out of the chassis.”

“The basics would be take the box off, put it on a new chassis, run some new wiring, a new heating and cooling system; that’s the basics,” said Kyle Shimmens, president of Osage Ambulances. “But we do everything from new paint to new graphics to new flooring, new lighting to new electrical system, new oxygen system, you can change some cabinetry.”

St. Charles County officials said there’s a big saving for taxpayers. They said the remounted ambulances can cost from $150,000 to $175,000. A new ambulance would set taxpayers back about $270,000. The district has planned 15 remounts from 2018 through the end of 2023. They’ll add another five remounts from 2024 through 2025, which will save $2,019,480.

Shimmens called it a good deal all the way around. His company does business in all 50 states and has about 125 workers.

“They’re just as reliable as a new building. So when we bring them back in,” Shimmens said. “We remount them, and we refurbish them, and do all the paint and the lights and the new flooring, whatever the customer wants. It goes back out on a brand-new chassis; it’s just as though it was a brand-new truck.”

Hollrah said there’s a lot for the public and the ambulance district to like about this deal.

“It allows us to keep the same style of ambulance don’t have to worry about where all the equipment is,” he said. “In a hectic situation, they know where to grab stuff every time.”