Driving the Amb. Help.

wyoskibum

Forum Captain
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keep it simple sucka! (KISS)

I definitely want to keep myself and my crew safe, as well as my patient and others driving safe. So please I need advice in case I don't get proper advice.[/SIZE]

I only ask 3 things of my partners who drive:

1. don't wreck the ambulance on my watch
2. start slow, stop slow. I don't like getting thrown around in the back.
3. Always pass on the left.

One trick I've learned over the years when running L&S:

If I have someone in front of me that I want to try and get'em to move over to the right, I line up my hood ornament with the front vehicle driver side rear-view mirror. IF and when they look, they see more of the ambulance behind them. YOU do have to watch for the opposing traffic and make sure they are pulling over as well, otherwise you'll have move over.
 

JPINFV

Gadfly
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That's an important point. For the love of all that is good and holy. Don't tailgate. Those two grill lights aren't the most notiable lights around. If you need to wait for a car to yield, stay at least a car length back so that they can see you. All of you.
 

Outbac1

Forum Asst. Chief
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There is a lot of good advice here you should heed. My 2 cents worth is NEVER drive faster than you are comfortable regardless of road conditions. You are never in that much of a hurry. Drive SMOOTH. Your partner can't work in the back if all they can do is hang on.
 

JOSH

Forum Probie
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Tell them u want to pratice and get famlilar with each ambulance. Also the truck and trailer thing is hard cuz my family has horses and we have a f350 and 40ft trailer and aint nothin harder than back up a a horse trailer in a tight spot
 

NomadicMedic

I know a guy who knows a guy.
12,103
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All of these tips are great. Want some real advice?

Tell your supervisor that you want the Ambulance company and insurance company mandated driver training.

If your boss says, "there isn't any training, you did just fine," Quit. That's a bad situation.

Reading a bunch of tips on an EMS message board is no defense when you're sitting in a deposition and the plaintiff's attorney says to you, "Tell me about the Emergency Vehicle driver training you received before operating the ambulance that struck my client's vehicle, rendering him paralyzed."

Yeah. That's something to think about, isn't it.

An ambulance, loaded with a partner and patient, running code is a LOT different than a horse trailer. Don't let anyone here tell you any different.
 

Medic

Forum Lieutenant
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When responding L&S you should never be on the same siren sound example. if the ambo infront of you is using the yulp siren you should use the wale. this helps the public to know and expect 2 ambo's.

Patience

Watch out for sand.

think 2 steps ahead. meaning im coming up to this intersection what is the traffic in front to the left and right are doing where can i bale and is there oncoming traffic in case i need to swerve.

Personal lesson i learnt. tie every thing thats loose down.

Ask your partner to help with vehicles coming from their side and to judge how close the car next to you is so you don't hit it. Also ask for help while reversing.

Don't take corners sharp.

obviously don't over take on blind rises around corners etc keep safe!
 

Sasha

Forum Chief
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When responding L&S you should never be on the same siren sound example. if the ambo infront of you is using the yulp siren you should use the wale. this helps the public to know and expect 2 ambo's. [/QUOTE

There are areas that have dual sirens on a single ambulance so two sirens might not mean that there are two ambulances coming, so while you should never use the same siren tone as another, make sure you don't assume that they understand two ambulances are coming and proceed with caution.

A big thing about driving code, is never assume anything. Make sure you understand people are unpredictable to begin with, and even more so when they hear an ambulance coming.
 

gamma6

Forum Crew Member
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i posted this in another thread.

always be aware of the situation in the back, if your partner is standing or what not. it's good to call corners, stopping points, big bumps and train tracks.

you'll get better at it, it's nerve racking the 1st couple of shifts..

word of advise though...don't get all flustered when ya got to drive code, relax and drive normally with a propose. the lights and sirens only give you about 30 secs to a min on time...oh ya and don't sound crazy on the mic, you will get hell for that from the other crews...
 

CAOX3

Forum Deputy Chief
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I am use to driving a big F-350 truck, and horse trailer. I can't remember how long the horse trailer is, but about a 6 horse slant. (if your familiar with horse trailers)
I can back the horse trailer up with just using my side mirrors in between a 12ft narrow space.

I have no doubt with your experience with trailers and a large truck you will be fine handling an ambulance. Its not difficult just takes some getting used to.

The difficult part is being three steps ahead of all the idiots on the road that are texting, talking on the phone, putting on makeup, blasting the music and generally not paying attention to anything thats going on. Now you have to predict their actions also.

That will come with time.

Just go slow, be aware of your surroundings and you will be fine :)
 

VentMedic

Forum Chief
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Are you working ALS or BLS trucks?

For ALS, there are very few situations to be driving lights and sirens with a patient on board. Some of the reasons lights and sirens are used are usually due to a lack of medical confidence and competence in the back.
 

VentMedic

Forum Chief
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I really wouldn't worry about this is you are in anything outside of BFE. BFE might care. However, I'm willing to bet that absolutely none of the cities I've worked in cared, especially when I worked in Southern California. Furthermore, heave help any police officer that would even think about pulling me over if I'm transporting or responding lights and sirens. Official complaints and prime time news coverage would put an end to that stupidity quickly. I guarentee you that the leading story that night would be, "Podunk Town police putting lives at risk by holding up ambulance in route to a medical emergency."

We do make a big issue out of notifying dispatch of running with L&S. Dispatch has also warned us many times when I was with the FD of other emergency vehicle traffic in the area. Some monitor other frequencies to stay informed for our safety. This would even be appropriate in BFE since some may not be expecting another emergency vehicle for miles. IFT or Specialty transports could even be crossing the county lines.

There are many, many reasons for LEOs to stop an ambulance which could be for the crews safety. It only takes a few seconds. Maybe if LEOs had been around for some of the bad behavior of some ambulance drivers, lives would not have been lost in some very tragic MVCs. We've had way too many headlines over the past couple of years to let EMTs drive recklessly with a patient on board. As well, the couple of times my truck has been stopped has been due to something wrong with the vehicle that they noticed which saved us from a very bad situation on down the road. Don't be stupid and ignor an LEO or you may find yourself in serious trouble with the law or severely injured in an MVC.
 

JPINFV

Gadfly
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Oh, don't get me wrong. Something wrong, some sort of advisory, or soemthing like that, sure. I'm not going to ignore a police car behind me. However if it's a "I just wanted to make sure that you were transporting someone and not screwing around... have a nice day" stop, like I've seen some people post about, then that's wrong and disconcerting.

edit: Part of the problem is that I view the decision to engage in an emergency transport as a treatment decision. As such, having a police officer thinking he can decide whether a patient or situation warrants an emergency transport or not is akin to a police officer entering a hospital and thinking that he can dictate which treatments a physician, RN, or RT can or should be providing. It's one thing for law enforcement to insure that applicable laws are being followed (for example, the DEA investigating how schedule 2s are handled) while it's another for them to be dictating which patients get a specific treatment.
 
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Smoke14

Forum Crew Member
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Both a Van, and a box ambulance. I drove both on my first day, and the VAN by far was the easiest. But I still didn't feel to uncomfortable driving the box amb. The only thing that got me was entering on the Interstate I couldn't just look behind my shoulder when merging into traffic. And I couldn't see them all the way in my side mirrors. Any advice on that?

Lean forward and to the right to expand the mirror view. You can actually accomplish that while keeping your eyes on the road if you do it quick enough.
 
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CountryEMT-bGurl

CountryEMT-bGurl

Forum Lieutenant
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We go out for both ALS, and BLS so to speak.

And I already had my experience with "RAIL ROAD" tracks today. I thought i was going really slow on the tracks, but my partner still let me know about it! Learning experience number 1...

Went out 5 times today. Always drove to the scene, but TODAY I got to be in the back with the patient on the way to the hospital. As we had two medic's on.

THANKS EVERYONE for the great TIPS!!! I will keep them ALL in mind, and ask about more education from the Boss!!

I would right more, but super tired.

Thanks again!
 
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