New ambulances that are lighter than the current emergency vehicles on the road are expected in Nova Scotia this fall.

The provincial government has signed an eight-year procurement contract worth $31.4 million that will see it lease 150 ambulances.

The deal with Tri-Star Industries of Yarmouth, N.S., includes a refit after four years.

Premier Darrell Dexter said the redesigned ambulances, which will have reflective graphics on the backs and sides to increase their visibility to drivers, are intended to provide better care for patients.

Tri-Star Industries is a custom-vehicle manufacturer specializing in ambulances.