Ambulances & Vehicle Ops, Operations

Mobile Demonstration Module from EMS Safety Foundation Exhibits Safe Patient Compartment Configurations

Issue 11 and Volume 38.

The EMS Safety Foundation has rolled out its innovative new INDEMO 1.0 Ambulance Safety Innovation Design Module Project. The unique trailer, the result of years of research and discussion about ambulance safety and design, allows EMS personnel, managers and fleet maintenance staff to get inside a realistic, open-space patient compartment and interact with state-of-the-art, science-driven design features.

The EMS Safety Foundation has rolled out its innovative new INDEMO 1.0 Ambulance Safety Innovation Design Module Project. T

The INDEMO 1.0 project—led by Nadine Levick, MD, founder of the EMS Safety Foundation; Chris Fitzgerald, the director of human factors and ergonomics for the Foundation; and Ronald Rolfsen of Oslo, Norway—demonstrates an integration of cutting-edge and data-driven designs. The foundation’s technical experts in human factors, operational ergonomics, automotive safety and occupant protection cooperated with Innovation Consortium EMS service leaders to integrate the safety and ergonomic features into the trailer that are recognized to improve operational safety in the rear compartment. After years of EMS Safety Foundation research and exchange of innovative ambulance compartment designs from around the world, the Foundation decided to incorporate key innovations into a flexible design that would allow audiences to see and move equipment and storage compartments to various convenient and safe positions.

EMS thought leaders who have traveled to Europe, including JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman, recommended the Foundation bring European ambulance design features to the U.S., like Rolfsen’s innovative Oslo ambulance patient compartment.

The decision to build a configurable module rather than a full trailer was prompted by the Foundation members’ desire to create a patient compartment that was sustainable, scalable, translatable and independent. A consortium of experts and EMS officials used the optimal technical data to design a mobile demonstration module that could be easily transported to venues throughout the country.

Transparency was an essential element for the trailer to ensure audiences could easily see the layout, so the Foundation decided to build it like an Apple Store with walls made of clear Plexiglas. This hands-on project highlights key design and safety features that agencies can integrate into future ambulance purchases such as forward- and rear-facing seating; creative, operationally and technically sound use of space; improved storage compartments and more convenient positioning of providers, patients and equipment.

Dangerous ambulance locations for EMS providers

For updates on this project and to download information, or to upload and share your agency’s ambulance design blueprints, visit the INDEMO 1.0 website:

For more ambulance resources visit 

San Diego Fire-Rescue paramedic

TRICK OF THE TRADE: Here’s how one San Diego Fire-Rescue paramedic ensures his drink won’t spill while riding in the ambulance. Photo Art Vandalay