By Alan M. Petrillo
American Emergency Vehicles (AEV) has delivered another Traumahawk Ford E-450 Type 3 custom ambulance to Golden Valley (MO) Memorial Healthcare, the third AEV ambulance the company has furnished to the agency.
Mike D’Agostino, EMS director of Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare, says the group is a hospital-based ambulance service that provides coverage to 128 square miles with a staff of 30 full-time and part-time paramedics and EMTs. “Our hospital in Clifton is a Level 3 certified facility that usually transports 76 miles away to Kansas City, which has the nearest trauma center for the next highest level of care,” D’Agostino says. He notes the agency runs three Advanced Life Support (ALS) paramedic units on three shifts daily, with a fleet of five ALS ambulances.
Ned Clifton, vice president of sales for American Response Vehicles, who sold the rig to Golden Valley, says the agency told him they wanted to focus on quality and safety in the vehicle, and service after the sale. “They purchased an AEV Generation 10 rig with a modular construction that has a three-inch body drop on both curb and street side that allows two steps into the curbside entry door for ease of entry and egress,” Clifton says.
He notes that the Traumahawk has a series of custom features designed to provide a higher level of patient care, as well as safety for the medic crew. These include an Ali Arc aluminum front bumper/brush guard, an Arctic Wedge Housing on the front of the conversion for the HVAC external condenser, an InterMotive Secure Idle anti-theft system, upgraded Armacell insulation and sound deadening in the patient compartment walls, floor and doors, a Ford OEM backup camera displayed through a cab-mounted mirror monitor, power door locks, remote keypads, and a Whelen Howler™ siren.
Other features on the Traumahawk are a Whelen LED light bar and warning lights, Whelen Pioneer LED scene lights, Whelen Nano Pioneer auxiliary lights installed on the front bumper, Amdor underbody lights, Inertec LED compartment lights, a Vanner Lifesine 1100 Pure Sine Wave inverter and battery charger, a Zico electric oxygen bottle life, and Onspot snow chains.
D’Agostino says that inside the patient module the rig has a Stryker PowerLOAD and PowerPRO cot, a Technimount bracket for a Zoll E-Series monitor, CompX 300 Series lock for narcotics storage, an ActiveTek air purification system, and Ferno INTRAXX pouch mount brackets at the end of the squad bench. All seating positions feature Per4max four-point harnesses.
“We wanted one position on the squad bench and to the right of that we created a compartment that holds all of our drugs and medicines, where the medic can lift a lid and pull out a box without having to get out of his seat,” he says. “To the left is the Ferno INTRAXX system where we have smaller quantities of materials needed for trauma and IVs in clear-fronted pouches within the medic’s reach.”
D’Agostino points out that the medics like working from the squad bench instead of from the attendant’s seat at the head of the cot. “Everything the medic needs is within arm’s reach from the squad bench position,” he says. “We’ve found that on 95% of our calls the medic can sit in the curb side seat and have access to everything, but still be in front of and engaging with the patient.”
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Ariz.-based journalist, the author of three novels and five non-fiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including the position of chief.