Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Letter to the Engineers

Warning: One of the pictures below is NSFW (Not Safe For Work). It's a girl in a bikini. So, there you go, you were warned.

To the Designers/Engineers who have created MedTech, Wheeled Coach, International, Pierce, American LeFrance and other Ambulance/Fire Engine manufactures:

Hello! My name is Medic Trommashere. I have been riding around in your lovely vehicles for almost a decade now, and as a devoted user, I figured I could offer some friendly advice from a real life consumer.

Firstly, contrary to popular belief, your target demographic does not look like this:

Or this:

Or even this:

We come in various body sizes, especially height. Now. I am not exactly model height, hell, I still get called Munchkin, but it can get a little complicated trying to climb into the back of an Ambulance where the little tail step of the truck is nearly eye level with my chest. I am not saying there is anything wrong with your wonderful products, but a little consideration to those less fortunate with height would be a great thing. Either an extra step or some good rock climbing equipment would be great...jus' sayin'.

Also, to facilitate easier movement within the ambulance, a larger opening between the cab and the box would be great. I find that to be a good escape route when my, "he's so quiet, he wouldn't hurt a fly..." psych patient decides to rip off the arm rest on the Stryker stretcher and tries to bludgeon me with it, calling himself "The Caveman" and wants to take his bride back to the cave. Some days, my size 16 hips won't fit through the aptly named 'birth canal' with a radio, Leatherman holster, and Trauma Shears (The pink kind)strapped to my belt.

Lastly, can we get some more padding on those lovely corners of cabinets? I'm not sure how you test to see what happens when an appendage (usually the Occipital lobe or the not-so-funny end of the humerous) slam into one of those corners after a car decides to stop within three feet of the front of the ambulance while we're coding at a safe velocity (Read: So much faster than the posted speed limit that if my boss ever found out, he'd rehire me just to fire me for how fast we were going). I got a black eye so bad one time, the hospital we arrived at thought I had gotten beaten up by the patient. Those corners hurt like there's no tomorrow. So, I would like to recommend the following adjustments.


Or this:

Just because we like Traumatic Injuries doesn't mean we want to have one.

All in all, I have no complaints about your wonderful products. They get me from point A to point B REALLY fast and I get to look cool doing it. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to your craft.

M. Trommashere.

PS: MedTech...you gotta really work on that electrical system issue...having the entire box of the ambulance turn off including the main board suction while I'm using it really bites.

PPS: American LeFrance and Pierce; Big props for the little steps you can fold down so short people like me can get up in the hose bed or just get stuff from up high.

Have Fun and Be Safe!

1 comment:

  1. While the back of the ambulance is purpose built for EMS work, you have to remember that the cab never is. It's an adaptation of an existing product, and it's likely that will always be the case. The problem is that there are only about 5,000 or so new ambulances built nationwide by the entire industry each year. That sounds like a lot, but when you consider that the number is split among a number of different styles and manufacturers, it's a very small number of vehicles overall. No one is going to spend a lot of money on development of a specialized vehicles for such a small market.

    The other thing to remember is that it's just about impossible to make a "one size fits all" vehicle because we come in such a variety of sizes and shapes. I worked with one guy who would never drive because at 6'5" and about 300 pounds he couldn't fit behind the wheel of our not very small ambulances. We also have EMTs who are barely 5'0" and weigh in at 100 pounds.

    I'd like more padding in the back too, but it has to be padding that won't tear or become contaminated.

    One bit of advice. Drive more slowly when transporting a patient. Seriously, I've learned over the years that the transport part should generally be the slowest phase of the response.