By Alan M. Petrillo
Cambridge (NE) Rescue Service has taken delivery of a Type 3 Traumahawk custom ambulance built by American Emergency Vehicles (AEV). The rig replaces a 22-year-old ambulance with a vehicle featuring the latest in safety equipment in the patient module, as well as a customized interior that reflects the particular requirements Cambridge has because of its coverage area.
“We’re a volunteer rescue service funded by the city of Cambridge, running two ambulances staffed by one paramedic, four registered nurses (RNs), and ten emergency medical technicians (EMTs),” says John Kutnink, Cambridge’s EMS chief. “We have a fairly rural district with pretty long runs between calls because we’re situated about 15 miles south of our northern border and 20 miles north of the border with Kansas. We also picked up half of another ambulance district to cover because they didn’t have anyone left to handle the area.”
Randy Barr, director of sales for AEV, says Cambridge purchased a Type 3 Traumahawk custom ambulance built on a Ford E-450 chassis with a 172-inch patient module that has 72 inches of interior headroom, and powered by a 7.3-liter engine. “The body has a dual curbside step well for ease of entry and exit,” Barr notes, “and an additional exterior compartment for custom equipment.”
Tim Leitnaker, district sales manager for American Response Vehicles (ARV), who sold the Type 3 Traumahawk to Cambridge, says Cambridge is a new customer of ARV, so he sat with the rescue service representatives “multiple times to find out exactly what their needs were with the truck. We met with everyone in the department who wanted to have a say in what the truck would look like and how it would function. We went over all the layout options, and discussed different components in the truck and what suits them best as an agency.”
Leitnaker calls the street side interior wall of the patient module on the Cambridge rig, “fairly typical, with a CPR seat, telemetry area, action area and cabinetry.” It’s the curbside wall that deviates from the typical interior layout. “Instead of a squad bench, the curbside wall has a captain’s chair on a glide track that slides forward and back, swivels so the medic can face the patient at a 45 degree or 90 degree angle, or face forward for a long transport,” he points out. “There’s also a cabinet stack at the head of the curbside wall, with counter space too.”
Kutnink says that because of the long hauls the ambulance makes at times, Cambridge wanted the option of being able to carry two patients, while still retaining the curbside sliding/swiveling captain’s chair. “The captain’s chair is able to be folded to form a flat surface,” he says. “We have Ferno INTRAXX fixtures on the curbside wall designed to hold rotating arms where we can mount a backboard that can hold a military style litter securely.” All seating positions are protected by Per4max four-point safety harnesses that allow medics to reach for equipment and work on a patient while securely belted in, he adds.
Kutnink notes that the new AEV ambulance carries a Stryker PowerLOAD system with the Stryker Power-PRO-2 cot. “We upgraded our backup ambulance to the same system configuration,” he observes, “because we wanted to protect our staff from potential back injuries.”
Barr says that the Cambridge rig has an Activitek ultraviolet (UV) light decon unit in its HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) system, that also holds an additional HEPA filter for added protection for medics and patients. The ambulance has Federal Signal LED micro pulse grille lights and intersection lights, Barr says, as well as AEV Daybright LED interior cabinet lights, Whelen LED warning and scene lights, a Whelen cab-mounted Arges LED spotlight, a Vanner LifeSine inverter, a Whelen dual tone siren, running boards and a backup camera.
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.