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Mo. EMS agency completes new standardized ambulance fleet

The agency is able to reduce fleet maintenance costs by only having to stock parts for one type of vehicle


The standardized TCAD ambulance.

Photo/TCAD Paramedics

By EMS1 Staff

BRANSON, Mo. — In 2010, TCAD Paramedics embarked on a six-year project to standardize their fleet of ambulances. With the delivery of the newest ambulance, TCA 11, the task has been completed. For the first time, in the 40-year history of TCAD Paramedics, a standardized fleet of ambulances is serving Taney County.

TCAD Paramedics’ ambulances are built on Dodge Ram 4500 4x4 chassis with TraumaHawk ambulance boxes. These units are custom built for TCAD Paramedics by American Emergency Vehicle in Jefferson, North Carolina.

Standardizing the ambulance fleet serves multiple purposes. Fleet maintenance costs are reduced by only having to stock parts for one type of vehicle. The fleet mechanic is able to specialize in maintenance on one type of vehicle. Standardized equipment and vehicles helps paramedics concentrate on patient care by not having to learn multiple unit layouts.

TCAD Paramedics ambulances are custom designed with safety, patient comfort and crew member workability in mind. Ambulances are outfitted with LED warning lights and dual sirens to increase safety during emergency responses. The exterior striping is reflective to help with nighttime visibility. Seating in the back of the ambulance and the patient cot are equipped with a 4-point harness system to improve patient and crew safety. One of the rear seats is equipped with a built in child safety harness.

All ambulances are equipped with locking cabinets and mounting brackets for equipment. Dash cameras record video and audio in the cab of the ambulances. AM /FM radio speakers are installed in the patient compartment to help comfort patients during long transports. Each unit is equipped with a liquid suspension system that provides the smoothest possible ride and increases handling of the unit.

TCAD Paramedics average 40,000 miles per year, per ambulance. To prevent the fleet from degrading, TCAD Paramedics have established a rotation for unit replacement. As units approach a pre-determined mileage, the ambulance is taken out of service and sent for remount. The ambulance box is refurbished, mounted on a new chassis and returned for several more years of service. TCAD Paramedics’ ambulances are to be remounted one time and then replaced with a new ambulance box. This program keeps TCAD Paramedics ambulances up to date with the latest technology and safety standards. TCAD Paramedics will start the remount program in 2017.

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