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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

EMS adds new higher-tech ambulance

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The new ambulance with modern technology that has recently been put into service by the Bedford County Emergency Service.
(T-G photo by Jim Davis) [Order this photo]
On Monday, the state certified Bedford County Emergency Medical Services' newest ambulance unit, which is in its first completely new ambulance in a number of years.

BCEMS took possession of the new unit two months ago. The ambulance service has been relying on ambulance remounts -- recycling the ambulance "box" by re-mounting it to a new truck chassis -- for a number of years, but was in a position where a new ambulance was finally needed.

BCEMS has a total fleet of eight ambulances, one of which is currently out of service, according to BCEMS administrative supervisor Ted Cox.

New look

The new unit, built by Beloeil, Quebec, Canada-based Demers Ambulances -- has taken the number ALS 6. It looks quite different from existing BCEMS units. It's built on a 2011 Chevrolet Duramax diesel chassis. The cab has a streamlined cap which Cox says makes the unit more streamlined and increases fuel economy.

Cox said Demers, which has a number of ambulance units in California and in international markets, was very price-competitive.

The unit has a number of interior differences that won't be noticed by the public, but which Cox says will make the unit better, safer and more usable for BCEMS staff.


Ted Cox of the Bedford County Emergency Medical Services shows how the new dashbroad display is easier to operate in the new ambulance.
(T-G photo by Jim Davis)
Many ambulances have the emergency communications radio and other ambulance-specific controls positioned between the driver and passenger seats. Demers moves the normal sound In the cab, the normal music radio was moved down between the seats so that emergency equipment could be put on the dashboard, reducing the need for an ambulance driver to look down while driving at emergency speeds.

The ambulance's diagnostic circuitry is designed so that technicians at Shelbyville-based Select Tech, an ambulance remount and service firm, can plug in to the unit and transmit diagnostic information directly to Demers in Canada.

Better design

The handles on the new ambulance at the entry way and above, inside the ambulance, are colored yellow and have been reinforced.
(T-G photo by Jim Davis)
The ambulance box features all LED-lighting, including lighted cabinets for equipment and supplies. A new catch net provides safety for a paramedic sitting in a sideways-facing seat in the box in case of a front-end collision. The heating and air conditioning for the box blow from the floor, not from near the ceiling as in previous BCEMS units, which Cox said is much more pleasant and comfortable.

Cox said the unit has a higher impact rating than previous BCEMS units and already meets more-stringent design requirements currently being proposed by the state.