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Ambulances / Emergency Vehicles Tip

Everyday EMS
by Greg Friese

5 ways to protect your ambulance

Articles about ambulance theft pop up just enough on to convince me that theft is an actual problem that could happen anytime and anywhere.

I have recently read about ambulances stolen at scenes by psychotic patients running out of the emergency department, and even an intoxicated bystander that hoped in the driver's seat as the paramedics treated a patient in the back.

With the potential for catastrophic injury or death as well as a financial loss of more than $100,000, it seems preventing ambulance theft should be a high priority for EMS agencies.

Consider these tips for your SOG on ambulance security:

1. Always lock the doors to the driver compartment, patient compartment, and equipment compartments.

2. If you are worried about not being able to restart the engine, utilize an ignition interlock system that allows the motor to idle, but not be able to be put in gear without a key.

3. If there are multiple units responding — like an ambulance and a first response fire truck — assign one person to stay with and monitor the vehicles.

4. Minimize time out of and away from the vehicle, whether you are at an incident, at the grocery store, or parked at the hospital.

5. Park in a location where the ambulance is easily visible from the scene and to bystanders.

Listen to more tips about preventing ambulance theft and theft of ambulance contents on a recent episode of the EMS Office Hours podcast.

Have you ever had an ambulance or contents stolen? Does your department have an SOG for preventing vehicle theft? How does your organization prevent ambulance theft or theft of contents from the ambulance? Share your thoughts and ideas in the member comments section below.

About the author

Greg Friese is Editor-in-Chief of He is an educator, author, paramedic, and marathon runner. Ask questions or submit tip ideas to Greg by e-mailing him at

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Francisco Robles Francisco Robles Saturday, July 28, 2012 1:56:30 PM nice note...the driver need another key the switch ignition...and lock all vehicle.