Everyone likes the new car or new truck smell when they buy an automobile.

However, Guilford County government is purchasing five new rides for a much better reason – to help save lives.

At the Thursday, Sept. 1 Guilford County Board of Commissioners meeting, the board is expected to approve the purchase, which will run county taxpayers $242,057.

The five heavy duty SUVs and trucks will be used as “quick response vehicles.”

Given worldwide supply chain issues, Guilford County has been facing the same kind of problems buying cars, trucks and SUVs that many regular people have – and the acquisition problems are even worse when those automobiles will be put to very demanding and specialized uses.  The new vehicles being purchased by the county will be specially equipped Ford Expeditions and Ford F-150s.

The timing of the request is pretty good since, on September 1, the Board of Commissioners is going to declare September 2022 as “Emergency Preparedness Month” in Guilford County.

The county often buys automobiles using joint contracts with similar agencies across the state in order to get better deals.  That’s the case with this purchase.

According to Emergency Services staff, “Vehicles are under unusually high demand in the upcoming fiscal year, and have to be purchased through an allocation method with vendors. We need to get the vehicle approved and in the hands of the vendor for the allocation process.”

Emergency Services staff has reported to the commissioners that the need for these new vehicles was determined after a thorough review of the current fleet of response vehicles and an evaluation of their condition.

Funds to buy the Fords will come from money in the county’s 2022-2023 budget that was allocated for purchases of this type.

The response vehicles are being purchased from Parks Automotive Group in Hendersonville,