Friday, October 30, 2015

Keeping First Responders Safe in Ambulances
An updated standard for ambulance design should make emergency runs safer for first responders. EMS providers riding in the back of current ambulances not using restraints are at high risk of injury or death during a crash or evasive traffic maneuver, even at relatively low speeds. However, restraints are said to make treating patients difficult while in route to a hospital.

Trading off protection for function often comes at a price. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that between 1992 and 2011 there was an average of 4,500 vehicle crashes involving ambulances annually, a third of which resulted in injuries.

With the new design standards announced today, emergency personnel should be able to do 95% of their tasks while properly restrained.

To maximize safety without compromising effectiveness, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),  Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, and NIOSH developed design guidelines for ambulance patient compartments.

“With the new design standards, emergency personnel should be able to do nearly 95 percent of their tasks while properly restrained,” says Jennifer Marshall, homeland security program manager in NIST’s Special Programs Office.

Learn more at NIST's website.