EMS calls make up between 70% and 80% of fire department responses, so it makes sense that ambulance-maintenance needs also have increased.
The Fire Department Safety Officers Association recognizes that trend and for the second year in a row has included an ambulance track at the upcoming Apparatus Specification and Vehicle Maintenance Symposium, Jan. 20-23, in Orlando, Fla. The two-day track will cover designing and specifying the patient compartment, meeting NFPA 1917 requirements, and designing an NFPA-compliant chassis.
Anderson Township (Ohio) Chief Mark Ober will present “What Lies Ahead for the Patient Compartment?” He will discuss feature concepts and new ideas on effective placement of attendant seating and equipment.
“I spend a majority of my time in the rear of an ambulance with the patient,” Ober said. “What are my best chair options, the reach for all my needed equipment and how is it secured? What the future brings related to EMS transportation with change that affects both for the builder and the end user will be presented in our program. This includes the history of the design, including progress to date relating to the standards development. These standards include emission issues, patient and occupancy safety, and overall ambulance innovations.”
Another session, presented by Chad Brown of Braun Industries, will focus on not only the patient, but the emergency responders riding in the ambulance. Ambulance manufacturers constantly are working to build a better design for the attendees that work inside the box. The primary focus of this presentation will be on NFPA 1917 requirements and the impact that the specifications will have on the interior design and layout. What safety will cost from any manufacturer related to the new standard will be explored in detail.
A third presentation will play out the scenario of being given the task to order the next ambulance. Participants will be charged with determining what is an NFPA complaint chassis. With the new engines, a change in electronics and the need to reduce fuel, options to determine the right application will be covered. Presenters include a major manufacturer who will explain the technical data on ambulance chassis in the industry and describe how to choose the ambulance type that fits your department’s application including components, such as diesel emissions, operational impacts and green alternatives. The session also will cover available auxiliary brake options and matching the electrical systems for loads.
Without question, if you are planning to purchase a new apparatus next year, I would strongly recommend that you consider attending the Apparatus Symposium. It’s a no-frills, down to earth program and that offers a lot of one-on-one time with manufacturers and networking with chiefs, fleet supervisors and EVTs from across North America.
I look forward to seeing you there.