Nov. 16, 2010
Safe Ambulance Operations
In this paper, I will discus the importance of safety while driving an ambulance and the recommendations set forth by North Carolina for ambulance driving. I will also cover the North Carolina laws regarding ambulances, and the frequency of ambulance accidents including on the job injuries and deaths.
Ambulance safety is not something that most new EMT’s are taught in their classes, it is something that they learn while in the field. They may have covered the basic operations of an ambulance from the textbook, which would have gone over to treat everyone with due regards and that you never automatically have the right-of-way. There are several “recommendations” that many departments have set as SOG’s. However each department has there way of instructing their new hires and the same for the volunteer departments; the department in which I volunteer has there SOG’s set to where you are not allowed to drive any of their apparatuses until you have completed the driving course and had the recommended seat time with an officer of the department. Regardless of which department you work for or volunteer with there are a few “rules” that everyone should know. Not every ambulance is the same; it may look the same but handle differently. Never assume that they can see you or here you when approaching an intersection, always take that extra minute to look twice before entering any intersection. Obey all traffic laws, just because you are in an ambulance does not mean that you have the right of way, make it to the scene safely. Wear your seat belt! Each department sets their own ‘rules” or “recommendations” for each of their apparatuses, some of the more common safety rules I have found to be in place at a majority of places is no one under the age of 18 is to drive any of the department vehicles. To respond on an ambulance or to help assist with a patient you must hold at least a medical responder...
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