Innovative Patient Transport Vehicle Navigates Narrow Streets

 

 
 
 

Michael J. Ward, BS, MGA, MIFireE, NREMT | From the November 2012 Issue | Wednesday, November 14, 2012


During a volunteer medical trip to Uganda in 2008, Mark Benden, PhD, CPE, assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) School of Rural Public Health, and Eric Wilke, MD, medical director of College Station Texas EMS, came up with an innovative idea.

Wilke saw a need for an emergency transportation vehicle that could navigate crowded and narrow streets in rural areas. Benden explains, “I see this as an option for rural patients who need emergency transportation but can’t get it from traditional EMS.”

Ambulances in the U.S. are typically around 13 feet long, eight feet high and struggle to maneuver through congested traffic. It’s also difficult for these bulky vehicles to maneuver in rural areas, sometimes taking more than 30 minutes to arrive to their destinations, according to Benden.

The AmbiCycle is a compact transportation device specifically designed to transport patients from the scene to the hospital. It’s about the width of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle (approximately nine feet long), and has three wheels. The U.S. patent is pending, and a fourth-generation prototype is being evaluated internationally.




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Related Topics: Vehicle Ops, rural EMS, motorcycle EMS, Innovation, ambicycle, Jems Priority Traffic

 

Michael J. Ward, BS, MGA, MIFireE, NREMT

Michael J. Ward, BS, MGA, MIFireE, NREMT, spent 2000 to 2012 in academia, starting as an assistant professor of Fire Science at Northern Virginia Community College and ending as an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at The George Washington University, where he was the director of the online Emergency Health Programs. Ward is a retired captain II/medic from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, as well as a textbook author, consultant and presenter.

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