(Haberturk Newspaper, 28 January 2011)
In Rize, a transport vehicle for snow ambulances costing 100,000
Euros has been found to be unuseable because, when the ambulance
is loaded on, the combined height exceeds the limit for tunnels and
overpasses. The Health Ministry sent the snow ambulance to Rize
last year for use in emergency situations when roads are otherwise
impassable due to snowfall. But the ambulance can only operate on
snow and must be transported to the affected area by the transport
vehicle, whose height was apparently incorrectly calculated.
The transport vehicle has a height of 1 meter 40 centimeters and
together with the snow ambulance, which rises to a height of three
meters 30 centimeters, their combined height is 4 meters 70 centi-
meters. Both vehicles are now stranded in the garage in Rize since
the height of tunnels and overpasses is 4 meters 50 centimeters.
Rize Provincial Health Director Mustafa Tepe summarized the
situation, saying 'after the incident in Ovit the Ministry sent us the
snow ambulance and last year we were able to help 19 citizens
thanks to this ambulance. But the vehicle cannot traverse concrete
and dirt roads so we requested a transporter that would be low
to the ground. Nevertheless, although we reiterated this require-
ment a number of times they sent us a Mercedes transporter which
is too long and too high for the tunnels and overpasses.'
In his own defense, Rize Provincial Procurement Deputy Secretary
Salih Kurtuluş stated that they purchases the transporter based on
health officials' request. He added that 'the ambulance's height is
supposed to be 2 meters 90 centimeters and the transporter is
one meter 30 centimeters from the ground, making a total height
of 4 meters 20 centimeters. We wouldn't make such a mistake.'