Crossover Podcast – Ep 116 – That’s Not Why we Have Cameras, Gary …for the head injury, PD on scene Crossover Podcast ep 113 – Middletown Ohio or Deathville USA? the Crossover Ep 112 – Are you a good hair boss or a bad hair boss? Stop Responding for Overdoses? Sign Me Up! Yup. Still Barfing I Heard You, She Heard You, the Baby Heard You Is there a Doctor on board? the Crossover Podcast – Ep 111 – Paramedic Perv Reporter Unclear of Aircraft EMS Operations The new rigs are here! the Crossover Show – Ep 110 – Do You Poop Where You Eat? What to do for an allergic reaction…or not The Last Shift of the Lost Cause The Crossover Show – ep 109 – Is that Cocaine or Anthrax? How to respond when your spouse tells you to be safe at work Always, In Service – EMS Week 2017 Lost Cause gets cocky FDIC 2017 – Structural Response to Aviation Incidents: Engine Company Operations I Got Lost Going to a Call – So I made sure everyone knew about it Crossover Podcast Ep 102 Mrs Happy Medic and Mike the Cop Arby’s Roast Beef Ad angers EMTs, not sure why Strippers and Cocaine watch – 2017 Seizures! Seizures Everywhere! Nothing is certain except death and taxes. I can help you with both What to do when the powers that be – just can’t. Episode 99 the Crossover Ep 98 – Off Duty and Fancy Free NO is Never Easy to Hear Ohio Cop vs Ambulance Crew Member on Video – Crossover Show Investigates! An MCI With Wings: Aviation Incidents EMS Today 2017 First in Ambulance MCI at EMS Today 2017 Crossover Show Learns How to Take a Joke To Haul or Not to Haul – Should the Complexity of a Refusal Influence Transport? Crossover Show – Ep 91 – ACLU cameras Tip of the Helmet – Bj’s Brewhouse the Crossover Show – Episode Eighty Eight Eminence Based Medicine If You Don’t Give Him Insulin He’s Going to Die Lost Cause Strikes Again the Crossover Podcast – Ep 85 – Florida Cry Baby “I Can’t Breathe!” you keep using those words… the Crossover Show – 84 – TN Bus Crash Happy 150th Anniversary San Francisco Fire Department! Thank You For Your Service? A Complete Secondary Assessment the Crossover Episode 81 – Let’s Talk Politics! Aircraft skids off runway, rescue task force ill equipped Crossover Show – Ep 79 – Do we need so much active shooter training? How to Ignore Everyone in the Room: Be an Intern Your Meme is Bad and You’re Not One of Us Anymore Goodbye tarps, I never loved you The Crossover Episode 76 – Flashback to the Beginning You found me how? Less CSI, More Columbo EMS Festival Standby – You can’t just park a car there the Crossover Show Ep 72 – Florida EMT photo game A&O vs able to make decisions Kilted to Kick Cancer Cops vs Firemen Writer calls for Medics to risk more in shootings, misses the target What’s with the French? the Crossover – Ep 69 – Twelve Ninety Désolé the Crossover Show – Ep 67 – Traffic Stops and Profiling Actually, Officer, No. It Really isn’t that hard to try When Patients Don’t Play by the Old Rules Letters in the File – Oklaloosa Selfies the Crossover Podcast – Ep 64 – Turning Passion into Retirement Why Pokemon GO is so much like EMS Us Against Us Apathy is worse than absence So Now I’m Back! Changes are a-comin’ The Sounds of Silence I know that feel, Bro TCS – Ep 59 – SHOOT HIM! CISD with OK GO part VI the Crossover – Ep 56 – Rooms for Shooting the Ballad of Big Dave the Crossover Episode 55 – Text me Bro Why vs How and Book vs Street A Mother’s Day Crossover Show Dear Valencia County Fire Chiefs Dear Random Township Fire Department at FDIC the Crossover Show – ep 50 – Revenge of the Vine Stars Strippers and Cocaine need your help Educational Standards in EMS Engine Company First Strike MCI – FDIC 2016 the Crossover Show – Ep 48 – What’s in your feed? Washing the Chief’s Car What Should I Do With This Knife? – The Crossover Ep 46 Firefighter Jokes Medical/Legal Advice, Google Style the Crossover Show – Episode 45 – Cop Vines and the Cajun John Wayne You Make the Call ebook Now Available To the Intern Who Froze the Crossover Show – Episode 44 – Day of Remembrance New at Uniform Stories – Raising Revenue BLS Fire Officer or Paramedic – Who Makes Scene Decisions?

A facebook follower recently posted the following on the Happy Medic Page:

“I recently got involved in specifications for 2 new ambulances…any suggestions out there?”

Well, are there?

This is what social media is about folks, being able to spread an idea, issue or question far and wide quickly to get a wide variety of responses.

If I was on the committee to spec new rigs I’d have a few requests for sure.

  1. Larger area behind the front seats so night crews could recline a bit and have room to store their coolers and jackets, and packpacks etc.
  2. Plugs in said larger area for crew to run laptops and plug in other peripherals
  3. A compartmentalization layout designed by actual practitioners so that I don’t have to stand up from the airway chair to reach my airway supplies for example.
  4. Suspensions that last more than 6 months.
  5. Warning lights that can be seen when the back doors are open.
  6. GPS
  7. Because my system is limited by height since 2 of our ER entrances are underground, I can’t get a taller rig, but it’d be nice.
  8. If you’re a rural FD EMS, what about extra room for turnouts and airpacks, perhaps even a CAFS?

What are you looking for in a new ambulance?

Related posts:

61 Comments

  1. Efd996mk January 25, 2011 4:45 pm

    Thank you Sir!

  2. Efd996mk January 25, 2011 4:45 pm

    Thank you Sir!

  3. EMTGFP January 25, 2011 4:56 pm

    Consideration taken for height AND width limits (We have small old roads lined by cars all the time. 3 point turns are sometimes impossible and I don’t even want to know what getting an engine up some of these roads would be like. Bigger is not always better)

    Passage between the cab and patient compartment larger than a tiny window and a door that closes this off with a window in it (had it in my last ambulance and LOVED it. It was behind the “Captain’s chair” in the pt compartment and made conversations with more than 2 people in a crew great.

  4. EMTGFP January 25, 2011 4:56 pm

    Consideration taken for height AND width limits (We have small old roads lined by cars all the time. 3 point turns are sometimes impossible and I don’t even want to know what getting an engine up some of these roads would be like. Bigger is not always better)

    Passage between the cab and patient compartment larger than a tiny window and a door that closes this off with a window in it (had it in my last ambulance and LOVED it. It was behind the “Captain’s chair” in the pt compartment and made conversations with more than 2 people in a crew great.

  5. CBEMT January 25, 2011 5:38 pm

    Bucket seats with 5-point restraint harnesses, facing either forwards or backwards. Recessed grab rails in the ceiling. Trash and sharps containers reachable from all seats, along with the heat and lighting controls. Bracket for the monitor, everything else in a solid cabinet or behind webbing. Padding on any unused wall surface. O2 outlet in the ceiling. interior/exterior access to C-spine and splinting equipment (except the boards, obviously).

    That’s a start. I’ll come back when I remember the rest of my list…

  6. CBEMT January 25, 2011 5:38 pm

    Bucket seats with 5-point restraint harnesses, facing either forwards or backwards. Recessed grab rails in the ceiling. Trash and sharps containers reachable from all seats, along with the heat and lighting controls. Bracket for the monitor, everything else in a solid cabinet or behind webbing. Padding on any unused wall surface. O2 outlet in the ceiling. interior/exterior access to C-spine and splinting equipment (except the boards, obviously).

    That’s a start. I’ll come back when I remember the rest of my list…

  7. MRB January 25, 2011 5:41 pm

    Pt ejector cot!

    • Thehappymedic January 25, 2011 6:46 pm

      Official LOL #12! I nearly spit coffee on the screen…then invented just such a device…

  8. MRB January 25, 2011 5:41 pm

    Pt ejector cot!

    • Thehappymedic January 25, 2011 6:46 pm

      Official LOL #12! I nearly spit coffee on the screen…then invented just such a device…

  9. burnedoutmedic January 25, 2011 6:31 pm

    pre-plumbed water hose and detergent dispenser.

  10. burnedoutmedic January 25, 2011 6:31 pm

    pre-plumbed water hose and detergent dispenser.

  11. Pingback: Tweets that mention Ambulance Specs | The Happy Medic -- Topsy.com

  12. Anonymous January 25, 2011 7:46 pm

    Forward or rear-ward facing seats to replace the bench, outlets in cabinets to accomodate pumps, fluid warmers, vent/CPAP, etc. integrated Child’s seat into Capitan’s chair, Chevrons on the back and side door, LED lights to reduce power usage.

    • CBEMT January 26, 2011 11:46 pm

      I’d rather see Ferno Pedi-Mates on every truck instead. The integrated seat prevents any provider from being belted anywhere hear the patient.

  13. Anonymous January 25, 2011 7:46 pm

    Forward or rear-ward facing seats to replace the bench, outlets in cabinets to accomodate pumps, fluid warmers, vent/CPAP, etc. integrated Child’s seat into Capitan’s chair, Chevrons on the back and side door, LED lights to reduce power usage.

    • CBEMT January 26, 2011 11:46 pm

      I’d rather see Ferno Pedi-Mates on every truck instead. The integrated seat prevents any provider from being belted anywhere hear the patient.

  14. Ben January 25, 2011 8:46 pm

    A patient compartment that can be cleaned with a water hose. No small crack for blood, brain or whatev to get stuck in.

    May sound crazy, but a four seated front cab? For preceptee, nurses.. And with the spare place you can a) recline the front seats, b) have more than enough place for the turnout gear, jacket, lunch, laptop, and any essential material not dispensed by the employer.

    a plug in bracket for the monitor, relaying the infos on a screen larger than the 4″ Zoll.

    and we have the Rumbler siren on our new rigs.. a must!!

    • Efd996mk January 26, 2011 5:30 am

      Love the Rumbler/Howler!!!

  15. Ben January 25, 2011 8:46 pm

    A patient compartment that can be cleaned with a water hose. No small crack for blood, brain or whatev to get stuck in.

    May sound crazy, but a four seated front cab? For preceptee, nurses.. And with the spare place you can a) recline the front seats, b) have more than enough place for the turnout gear, jacket, lunch, laptop, and any essential material not dispensed by the employer.

    a plug in bracket for the monitor, relaying the infos on a screen larger than the 4″ Zoll.

    and we have the Rumbler siren on our new rigs.. a must!!

    • Efd996mk January 26, 2011 5:30 am

      Love the Rumbler/Howler!!!

  16. WellUasked! January 25, 2011 9:36 pm

    Hmmm…programmable environmental controls; full night-time conspicuity package so you can’t fail to recognize there is an ambulance parked at scene (LED track outlining the vehicle?); easy-decon interior; shelving designed for easy access without transfer-contaminating everything we touch with our gloves, networked IT system to collate all patient data into a run report while allowing us to stream it to the receiving ED, a workable attendant restraint system; oh, and while I’m dreaming, can somebody install a robotic medication dispenser to preload my drugs to the exact dosage I ask – like those automatic bartenders?

  17. WellUasked! January 25, 2011 9:36 pm

    Hmmm…programmable environmental controls; full night-time conspicuity package so you can’t fail to recognize there is an ambulance parked at scene (LED track outlining the vehicle?); easy-decon interior; shelving designed for easy access without transfer-contaminating everything we touch with our gloves, networked IT system to collate all patient data into a run report while allowing us to stream it to the receiving ED, a workable attendant restraint system; oh, and while I’m dreaming, can somebody install a robotic medication dispenser to preload my drugs to the exact dosage I ask – like those automatic bartenders?

  18. audreyj84 January 25, 2011 9:37 pm

    For starters if these are ALS rigs, no vans!! Unfortunately we have quite a few ALS vans in our service as do other services. They’re not very friendly when working on a non-critical patient, forget one that’s about to code. No ALS rig should be a van, ever.

    More counter space in the back, it’s seriously lacking in a lot of rigs.

    Swivel jump seat. I absolutely LOVE this feature in our boxes!

    Mounted IV wall or drawer.

    CUP HOLDERS!

    Bigger cabs.

    Now, keep in mind, I’m posting this from my rig. My feet are in spilled coffee and all of our crap is jam packed btwn the two seats. We have no station to go back to so we’re here our entire shift.

  19. audreyj84 January 25, 2011 9:37 pm

    For starters if these are ALS rigs, no vans!! Unfortunately we have quite a few ALS vans in our service as do other services. They’re not very friendly when working on a non-critical patient, forget one that’s about to code. No ALS rig should be a van, ever.

    More counter space in the back, it’s seriously lacking in a lot of rigs.

    Swivel jump seat. I absolutely LOVE this feature in our boxes!

    Mounted IV wall or drawer.

    CUP HOLDERS!

    Bigger cabs.

    Now, keep in mind, I’m posting this from my rig. My feet are in spilled coffee and all of our crap is jam packed btwn the two seats. We have no station to go back to so we’re here our entire shift.

  20. JamesR January 25, 2011 9:55 pm

    Hand rails that run the length of the box. Also some sort of retention system that allows the crew to move around inside the vehicle while keeping them from flying in the event of an accident.

    I’ve been in enough accidents in ambulances that I want something to keep me in place.

  21. JamesR January 25, 2011 9:55 pm

    Hand rails that run the length of the box. Also some sort of retention system that allows the crew to move around inside the vehicle while keeping them from flying in the event of an accident.

    I’ve been in enough accidents in ambulances that I want something to keep me in place.

  22. Joe Paczkowski January 25, 2011 10:11 pm

    Brackets for anything that has to be out like monitors.

    Bucket seats that can be adjusted left/right/forward/back and can be swiveled.

    As mentioned before, some extra cab space for reclining seats and storage.

    Electronic PCR docking port which includes a printer.

    Pharmaceutical fridge.

    Emergency start battery

    One way windows for patient privacy.

    Electronic pressure sensor for on board oxygen tank to facilitate monitoring how full the tank is.

    Back secondary emergency lights in amber only. I’d rather have oncoming cars thinking I’m a tow truck with nothing interesting to see than anything else.

    Roll open side door to reduce side footprint.

    Wench and ramp system to facilitate loading of bariatric patients.

  23. Joe Paczkowski January 25, 2011 10:11 pm

    Brackets for anything that has to be out like monitors.

    Bucket seats that can be adjusted left/right/forward/back and can be swiveled.

    As mentioned before, some extra cab space for reclining seats and storage.

    Electronic PCR docking port which includes a printer.

    Pharmaceutical fridge.

    Emergency start battery

    One way windows for patient privacy.

    Electronic pressure sensor for on board oxygen tank to facilitate monitoring how full the tank is.

    Back secondary emergency lights in amber only. I’d rather have oncoming cars thinking I’m a tow truck with nothing interesting to see than anything else.

    Roll open side door to reduce side footprint.

    Wench and ramp system to facilitate loading of bariatric patients.

  24. trp January 25, 2011 10:31 pm

    a mounted flat screen tv with dvd player in the back for transporting kids and a couple spongebob dvds. We don’t have this but I know services that do and say it works wonders!

    • Anonymous January 25, 2011 11:52 pm

      yeah! and im sure that would come in handy if you catch a call during a game too huh! 😛 I LIKE IT!!!

  25. trp January 25, 2011 10:31 pm

    a mounted flat screen tv with dvd player in the back for transporting kids and a couple spongebob dvds. We don’t have this but I know services that do and say it works wonders!

    • Anonymous January 25, 2011 11:52 pm

      yeah! and im sure that would come in handy if you catch a call during a game too huh! 😛 I LIKE IT!!!

  26. Anonymous January 25, 2011 11:49 pm

    just convert our rigs into shorter versions of semi’s so we can have all the space we need for all the equip we need, plus an exterior compartment for all the batteries and inverters we need to power the equip in the back, the c-spine equip gets its own compartment, oh! and access to these exterior compartments from the inside of the patient care area.

  27. Anonymous January 25, 2011 11:49 pm

    just convert our rigs into shorter versions of semi’s so we can have all the space we need for all the equip we need, plus an exterior compartment for all the batteries and inverters we need to power the equip in the back, the c-spine equip gets its own compartment, oh! and access to these exterior compartments from the inside of the patient care area.

  28. cfmedic33 January 26, 2011 1:56 am

    Too much to mention. But I am fortunate to have a lot of what has been mentioned here.

  29. cfmedic33 January 26, 2011 1:56 am

    Too much to mention. But I am fortunate to have a lot of what has been mentioned here.

  30. Mattg0087 January 26, 2011 3:44 am

    I don’t know how functional it could be since I’ve never actually had the chance to use it but drawers have always been a design feature I’d love in the patient compartment… You could UAE a drawer for different things like a med drawer a iv start drawer eta put them low enough so they could be opened and reached with ease from
    Any position it would be a good way to keep low profile and supplies within an organized space.

  31. Mattg0087 January 26, 2011 3:44 am

    I don’t know how functional it could be since I’ve never actually had the chance to use it but drawers have always been a design feature I’d love in the patient compartment… You could UAE a drawer for different things like a med drawer a iv start drawer eta put them low enough so they could be opened and reached with ease from
    Any position it would be a good way to keep low profile and supplies within an organized space.

  32. Efd996mk January 26, 2011 5:13 am

    Wow…..this turned out to be a good thread…..Thanks Happy Medic!!!

  33. Efd996mk January 26, 2011 5:13 am

    Wow…..this turned out to be a good thread…..Thanks Happy Medic!!!

  34. Viper3k January 26, 2011 7:09 am

    Lets have some pictures people.

  35. Viper3k January 26, 2011 7:09 am

    Lets have some pictures people.

  36. Joe Paczkowski January 26, 2011 8:05 pm

    A thread on an EMS forum just brought up another good idea.

    An AM/FM radio for the back for patient comfort.

    • CBEMT January 26, 2011 11:48 pm

      I dunno… if they’re ok enough to want a radio for comfort, do they really need to be in an ambulance?

      • Joe Paczkowski January 27, 2011 12:57 am

        …because ambulances are only used for emergencies?

        …because every patient who has a legitimate need for an ambulance due to an acute need has to be hemmed and hawed over for the entire trip?

        Your patient has a broken leg (legitimate use of an ambulance as a broken leg presents problems with getting into and out of the back of a vehicle). The patient is examined, leg is splinted, and pain medication is given. Does this patient still require an ambulance, and if so, emergency transport?

        Isn’t distraction a good source of non-pharmaceutical pain management? Would music, even if cheesy elevator style music, provide at least some distraction?

  37. Joe Paczkowski January 26, 2011 8:05 pm

    A thread on an EMS forum just brought up another good idea.

    An AM/FM radio for the back for patient comfort.

    • CBEMT January 26, 2011 11:48 pm

      I dunno… if they’re ok enough to want a radio for comfort, do they really need to be in an ambulance?

      • Joe Paczkowski January 27, 2011 12:57 am

        …because ambulances are only used for emergencies?

        …because every patient who has a legitimate need for an ambulance due to an acute need has to be hemmed and hawed over for the entire trip?

        Your patient has a broken leg (legitimate use of an ambulance as a broken leg presents problems with getting into and out of the back of a vehicle). The patient is examined, leg is splinted, and pain medication is given. Does this patient still require an ambulance, and if so, emergency transport?

        Isn’t distraction a good source of non-pharmaceutical pain management? Would music, even if cheesy elevator style music, provide at least some distraction?

  38. Kirk January 26, 2011 11:04 pm

    hearing protection with intercom system

  39. Kirk January 26, 2011 11:04 pm

    hearing protection with intercom system

  40. SJMedic January 27, 2011 7:22 am

    An ambulance built on a Winnebago chassis. Bunks in the overhead, kitchen, TV, bathroom. That way wherever where are, we’re always in quarters. We send fire trucks to EMS calls…is it really that much of a stretch?

  41. SJMedic January 27, 2011 7:22 am

    An ambulance built on a Winnebago chassis. Bunks in the overhead, kitchen, TV, bathroom. That way wherever where are, we’re always in quarters. We send fire trucks to EMS calls…is it really that much of a stretch?

  42. Adeum January 27, 2011 4:30 pm

    Programmable coffee maker built into the front right below the sirens….duh.

  43. Adeum January 27, 2011 4:30 pm

    Programmable coffee maker built into the front right below the sirens….duh.

  44. flobach January 28, 2011 12:25 am

    Above and beyond what has been posted above (some great thoughts)

    – possibility of side/angulated siren speakers for more safety during intersection crossings (a thought, would need some research)
    – Siren use to be entirely controlled by a foot switch in order to minimise hands of steering wheel
    – standardized interior with all locker contents written on outside
    – all vital equipment in reach during transport minimising the need to unbuckle en route.

    • Joe Paczkowski January 28, 2011 12:42 am

      I know Whelen brand sirens are set up to be controlled through the horn (switches from wail to whelp) and I always assumed that this was a standard option. However, I’ve also come to realize that most of the times I observe emergency vehicles constantly cycling through tones, it’s being done to cover for poor driving techniques than actual effectiveness.

  45. flobach January 28, 2011 12:25 am

    Above and beyond what has been posted above (some great thoughts)

    – possibility of side/angulated siren speakers for more safety during intersection crossings (a thought, would need some research)
    – Siren use to be entirely controlled by a foot switch in order to minimise hands of steering wheel
    – standardized interior with all locker contents written on outside
    – all vital equipment in reach during transport minimising the need to unbuckle en route.

    • Joe Paczkowski January 28, 2011 12:42 am

      I know Whelen brand sirens are set up to be controlled through the horn (switches from wail to whelp) and I always assumed that this was a standard option. However, I’ve also come to realize that most of the times I observe emergency vehicles constantly cycling through tones, it’s being done to cover for poor driving techniques than actual effectiveness.

  46. BadgerMedic January 29, 2011 6:02 pm

    Visibility is a must; chevrons on the back and the inside of the doors. I like the NFPA standard that automatically puts the warning lights in secondary mode when the unit is in park (so many people don’t even know what that switch is for.) In our units, our suction is a combination mounted/portable. It is self-contained unit that is mounted on a charger unit on the Action Area, but is easily removable and taken to the patient. MONITOR MOUNT – nothing like a potential 15-lb missile lying around (and yes, I do use the bench seatbelts to secure it.) The new four point harnesses are great and really do work well IMHO; it amazes me how many of them are taught and folded just like the day they were delivered…???! Some of the remounted units are coming with oxygen plumed to the ceiling – a wonderful idea to avoid a tangle of hoses/wires…except when mgmt won’t buy a dial-regulator to go on it. (All we have are the gravity-ball regulators on the wall.) Oh, and multiple oxygen regulators, one on each side. That has come in very handy on patients where you might need to change oxygen delivery systems. A roll-up door for the cabinet just in front of the side door – regular cabinet doors are definitely not user-friendly sometimes. For those of you using Toughbooks or other computers for ePCR’s, we have a AC charger mounted in the tunnel between the box/cab and a long cord that reaches to the front seats and into the box allowing the computer to be charged while doing Pt care. We are starting to transition to more of a System Status Mgmt distribution of our units, and that requires more time in the truck. Thankfully all of our new Type III units have decent reclining seats in the cab. For the most part, our units are set up pretty well.

  47. BadgerMedic January 29, 2011 6:02 pm

    Visibility is a must; chevrons on the back and the inside of the doors. I like the NFPA standard that automatically puts the warning lights in secondary mode when the unit is in park (so many people don’t even know what that switch is for.) In our units, our suction is a combination mounted/portable. It is self-contained unit that is mounted on a charger unit on the Action Area, but is easily removable and taken to the patient. MONITOR MOUNT – nothing like a potential 15-lb missile lying around (and yes, I do use the bench seatbelts to secure it.) The new four point harnesses are great and really do work well IMHO; it amazes me how many of them are taught and folded just like the day they were delivered…???! Some of the remounted units are coming with oxygen plumed to the ceiling – a wonderful idea to avoid a tangle of hoses/wires…except when mgmt won’t buy a dial-regulator to go on it. (All we have are the gravity-ball regulators on the wall.) Oh, and multiple oxygen regulators, one on each side. That has come in very handy on patients where you might need to change oxygen delivery systems. A roll-up door for the cabinet just in front of the side door – regular cabinet doors are definitely not user-friendly sometimes. For those of you using Toughbooks or other computers for ePCR’s, we have a AC charger mounted in the tunnel between the box/cab and a long cord that reaches to the front seats and into the box allowing the computer to be charged while doing Pt care. We are starting to transition to more of a System Status Mgmt distribution of our units, and that requires more time in the truck. Thankfully all of our new Type III units have decent reclining seats in the cab. For the most part, our units are set up pretty well.

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