Station 28 was able to bring their ambulance to the recent Red Bridge Shopping Center party, and I took advantage to shoot some photos of the equipment. There have been some good changes in the 30 years since The Observer was doing prehospital EMS. A few things we wished for back in the day have been developed and incorporated into ambulances today.
Now most people will not need an ambulance ride, but if you do, or a relative of yours does, take this small tour around and see what it's like in there. A little bumpy, but not too scary.
So this is your basic Advanced Life Support ambulance. This usually is about all most people see of ambulances. That is a good thing--most folks manage to make it through most of their lives without needing a ride in an ambulance.
Here, a quick glace in the back--what you might see if you were passing by an accident scene or if the neighbors had to call for some reason.
Let's go inside shall we? If we were riding along, we might have a seat here. Back in the 1980s we called this the squad bench and it had no seat belts. Now you get a seat, and five point restraints.
If you are the patient, likely you will ride here, on the cot, facing the rear of the ambulance. Usually you will get to sit up some. Back in the day, it was common for the cot to sit flush against the wall but now it is mounted closer to the middle. There is actually room enough to stand over there now. The heart monitor is right there easy to attach to the patient and easy for the medic to see. The walls are lined with cabinets storing all kinds of supplies, More supplies are kept in compartments outside.
This area, at the patient's head, is the paramedic's care headquarters. Radio equipment is readily at hand to talk to dispatch, medical control and the destination hospital. Neither seat here is far from the patient, and medics can move quickly to take care of changes in patient condition.
Peering through the passage way into the driver's compartment, we see the Computer Aided Dispatch computer. You probably can't see it, but a map was up on the screen. Many CADs can send along quite a bit of information about a call, and Kansas City ambulances have had satellite tracking and GPS for several years.
So, that what the inside of that noisy white box looks like. I hope you enjoyed your tour, and maybe even saw something new. It is my wish that none of my readers ever need to take a closer or longer look--unless you make EMS a career of course.