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reni
11-28-2009, 09:21 AM
Hello, folks,

I'm in need of some insight from an EMT or someone who is otherwise familiar with the setup commonly found in the back of an ambulance. I'm working on a scene in which an ambulance is used as a getaway vehicle for a group of approximately 20 people who must be transferred from Point A to Point B, one trip at a time. I'm looking for answers to the following...

1. What would you say is the maximum number of people of all shapes and sizes that can be crammed into the back of an ambulance at one time?

2. In layman's terms, what types of obstacles and medical equipment might be found in the back of an ambulance, aside from the obvious stretcher?

3. Is there anything in the back of an ambulance to which a couple of people with guns could be securely tied (to keep from falling out) while having access to shoot outside from the back doors?

4. Are the front driver's and passenger's seats accessible in any way from the back of an ambulance, or are they blocked off?

All thoughts, comments, and observations are most welcome and appreciated. Thank you in advance!

jclarkdawe
11-28-2009, 07:27 PM
Hello, folks,

I'm in need of some insight from an EMT or someone who is otherwise familiar with the setup commonly found in the back of an ambulance. I'm working on a scene in which an ambulance is used as a getaway vehicle for a group of approximately 20 people who must be transferred from Point A to Point B, one trip at a time. I'm looking for answers to the following... For that many people who are not injured, we'd call for a bus.

1. What would you say is the maximum number of people of all shapes and sizes that can be crammed into the back of an ambulance at one time? Depends upon whether you want to do anything. In a mass casualty situation, where you really need to transport, you could load and work with the following:


driver,

walking wounded patient in the passenger seat, receiving no treatment
patient on backboard on bench seat, with two EMTs working on him/her
patient on stretcher, with three EMTs working on him/her, one of those EMTs using the jump seat (seat at head of stretcher)

So if you want to work, I'd guess 9 people including 3 patients. We did this once in training. Not interested in being able to work, you could probably cram 20 people in the back.

Realize that this does depend at lot upon the design of the rig. City ambulances tend to be smaller, due to the shorter run to the hospital and larger number available. Rural rigs tend to be larger, because some runs can be fairly long and you really need to be comfortable working on your patient, and in mass casualty situations, there's a limit to how far away you can get ambulances in a timely fashion.

2. In layman's terms, what types of obstacles and medical equipment might be found in the back of an ambulance, aside from the obvious stretcher? Depends upon the design of the rig. Under the stretcher is the brackets to attach the stretcher to the truck. Many have a jump seat at the head of the stretcher (airway management EMT sits here). Bench seat is along one side, which is long enough for a six foot patient. In one corner might be brackets for O2 bottles. Floor needs to be fairly clear, so we don't trip.

3. Is there anything in the back of an ambulance to which a couple of people with guns could be securely tied (to keep from falling out) while having access to shoot outside from the back doors? Yeah, I guess this is doable, but I've never thought about it. There are seat belts, floor brackets, and IV hook ups in the ceiling.

4. Are the front driver's and passenger's seats accessible in any way from the back of an ambulance, or are they blocked off? Normally accessible, but not always.

All thoughts, comments, and observations are most welcome and appreciated. Thank you in advance!

Go down to your local rescue and ask to look over the rig. Take a camera. Explain what you're doing and most EMTs are crazy enough they'll try various ways of strapping themselves to the rig to shoot.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe
former EMT

Duncan J Macdonald
11-29-2009, 06:31 AM
Hello, folks,

I'm in need of some insight from an EMT or someone who is otherwise familiar with the setup commonly found in the back of an ambulance. I'm working on a scene in which an ambulance is used as a getaway vehicle for a group of approximately 20 people who must be transferred from Point A to Point B, one trip at a time. I'm looking for answers to the following...

1. What would you say is the maximum number of people of all shapes and sizes that can be crammed into the back of an ambulance at one time?

2. In layman's terms, what types of obstacles and medical equipment might be found in the back of an ambulance, aside from the obvious stretcher?

3. Is there anything in the back of an ambulance to which a couple of people with guns could be securely tied (to keep from falling out) while having access to shoot outside from the back doors?

4. Are the front driver's and passenger's seats accessible in any way from the back of an ambulance, or are they blocked off?

All thoughts, comments, and observations are most welcome and appreciated. Thank you in advance!

Take jclarkdawe's advice and go look at one. Your local fire department/EMS won't mind too much.

But, from my time riding along in the back of one, and depending on the rig,
1) Take out the stretcher, and all 20 can fit. You can stand up in the back of one of these things.

2) The sides are lined with cabinets and lockers that hold enough emergency supplies for normal use. There are oxygen hook-ups, but the bottles are kept externally.

3) Yes. There are straps on the stretcher that can be removed and used for this purpose. But why?

4) In the rigs I've been in, they were completely separate. I communicated with the driver via headset and microphone.

Tsu Dho Nimh
11-29-2009, 09:52 PM
I'd go find an ambulance and tell the crew what I need the information for and ask the crew for a look.

2. In layman's terms, what types of obstacles and medical equipment might be found in the back of an ambulance, aside from the obvious stretcher?
There are overhead equipment cabinets in the rural ambulances I am familiar with - head banging hazard.

And much of the ambulance side wall is taken up by equipment lockers accessible from the outside. If you dumped the gear, you could stuff a few people into the side compartments. The backboards, for example, are in a tall compartment that an average sized guy could stand in.

One ambulance company has a long side compartment you could get two people in. It's under the bench seat Jim mentioned.

3. Is there anything in the back of an ambulance to which a couple of people with guns could be securely tied (to keep from falling out) while having access to shoot outside from the back doors?

They could bust out the windows - most ambulances have small rear windows on the box - and be in no danger of falling out.

4. Are the front driver's and passenger's seats accessible in any way from the back of an ambulance, or are they blocked off?
Not the ones I am most familiar with. They are like camper-trailers slid into pickup trucks, not the "van" type. If there is access, it's a slider window.

Ambulances are top-heavy ... if you stuff 10-20 people in it, it's going to bottom out the springs, sway like mad on the turns, and be likely to roll. That is bad news for the guy in the backboard compartment.

reni
12-01-2009, 11:23 PM
Excellent, excellent information - thank you all so much! This is exactly the level of detail I was looking for to plan this scene.

Thank you, Jim, for the clarification on the size of the rig; in this case, I'm working with a rural setting, so the "rural-sized" ambulance fits perfectly.

Duncan, the stretcher will be needed for one character who has been critically injured, so I'm thinking I'm looking at two trips back and forth to get the whole group from Point A to Point B.

I suppose I should clarify that the ambulance in this scene is not being used for "traditional" purposes... in this case, it just happens to be the nearest, biggest vehicle with which to transport a number of people. :)

Tsu, busting out the back windows is the perfect solution for my gunmen, who will need to shoot at the bad guys who will be chasing after this group of people in due time. And thanks a ton for the additional detail on how the vehicle will handle with this many people in the back - I never thought of that factor!

Thank you, thank you - this is why I turn to this forum!

Sarpedon
12-01-2009, 11:47 PM
I would be sceptical of being able to get 20 people into the thing, unless they took the time to rip out all the cabinets and stuff, which is firmly bolted in place. Even if you could pack them in like that, I'd expect that if you opened the back doors to shoot, someone would fall out.

Duncan J Macdonald
12-02-2009, 07:32 AM
I would be sceptical of being able to get 20 people into the thing, unless they took the time to rip out all the cabinets and stuff, which is firmly bolted in place. Even if you could pack them in like that, I'd expect that if you opened the back doors to shoot, someone would fall out.

Here's a set of specifications for a Medium Duty (http://www.lascointl.com/doors/ambulance_print.htm) ambulance. This one is based on a Freighliner chassis, with an assumed gross vehicle weight of 20,000 pounds. Of interest is the interior dimensions of the box: 160 x 96 x 72 inch Headroom. That's 13 feet by 8 feet with 6 feet of head room. After subtracting out the interior side cabinets, it's still got nearly 4 feet of clear space. If a bunch of folks are trying to get away from the bad guys, you can fit 20 people in there. That site also has links to blueprints with interior and exterior views of an American LaFrance Medicmaster Ambulance.

But, since the stretcher is needed to transport an actual injury, it won't be 20 people anymore.