EXCLUSIVES
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Ask Feds to Investigate Ambulance Crashes

0308-PT-NTSB

Any loss of life or serious injury in our response or delivery of„EMS care is a terrible tragedy. This has been a concern of a number of EMS leaders and researchers over many years, with serious ambulance crashes and„EMS roadside tragedies occurring every day.

National resources exist to investigate these tragic events and to assist„EMS in improving safety. The primary organization that can bring this expertise to„EMS is the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The NTSB has a team of engineers, transport crash analysts and other experts with the technical skills to investigate a complex crash scenario, and also the power to generate national recommendations. Unfortunately, the NTSB hasn't investigated an ambulance crash since 1979, and, since then, there have been an estimated 1,600 fatalities related to ambulance crashes.

Unlike commercial vehicles, there's no national database for ambulance crashes that result in serious and fatal injuries and/or in substantially damaged or destroyed ambulances. There are also no technical crashworthiness standards for the rear compartment of our ambulances.

The„EMS community knows there's a problem. But, until we have data to analyze, track and trend probable causes, we can't make sound recommendations to address equipment failure or unsafe practices that we„suspect are the cause of loss of lives and livelihoods, and leave communities at risk for limited emergency response.

An ad hoc group of EMS professionals recently assembled to address concerns about ambulance crashes after a July 20, 2007, crash occurred in„Antwerp,„Ohio. The collision killed five occupants in the ambulance and left the community with only 50% of their EMS fleet, tragically killing one-third of their„EMS responders. This ad hoc groupƒnow known as the Ambulance Transportation Safety (ATS) Task Forceƒis petitioning the NTSB to assist„EMS, as it does for commercial and other vehicles.

A position paper, petitioning the NTSB to assist„EMS with data analysis and technical resources, can be found at„www.objectivesafety.net/Policyinfo.htm. This paper calls for NTSB action.

Many of us have been involved in a crash personally, or have a friend or relative who has been involved in or failed to survive an ambulance crash. You can help by carefully reading the ATS Task Force position paper, writing to your lawmakers and sending your concerns directly to the NTSB. We need your help.

JEMS.com Editor_s Note:„ For more on the„Antwerp,„Ohio crash, read the PWW Legal Corner article„"Ambulance Accidents - When Will We Wake Up."

Learn more from Keith Griffiths at the EMS Today Conference & Expo, March 2Ï6 in Baltimore.

RELATED ARTICLES

How the Nation's First ALS Response Vehicle is Being Restored

The Heartmobile was lost to time until a few ambitious volunteers found it.

Australia's Royal Flying Doctor Service is the World's Largest Aeromedical Response Service

Providing effective aeromedical retrieval across 2.76 million square miles.

Rule Change in California May Change Ambulance Business

A decades-old rule that kept all but one ambulance company from doing business in Riverside may be changed to what officials say is a fairer system. Wit...

Ron Thackery Discusses Ambulance Specifications at EMS Today 2015

Ron Thackery is a senior vice president of professional services and integration at American Medical Response. He's responsible for safety, risk manageme...

Buried in Boston

A Boston EMS Ambulance reserve unit is buried under 95 inches of snow that accumulated in the vehicle storage facility parking lot in Boston over the past fe...

Maryland State Police Aviation Command Continues Perfecting HEMS Fleet

Updates to old helicopters provide new opportunities to improve patient care.

Features by Topic

Featured Careers

 

JEMS TV

FEATURED VIDEO TOPICS

Learn about new products and innovations featured at EMS Today 2015

 

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts