Idaho EMS agency unveils armored ambulance

Ada County Paramedics showcased their new MedCat which is “specifically designed for the rescue of citizens” in dangerous situations

By EMS1 Staff

BOISE, Idaho —An EMS agency debuted its new armored ambulance to help providers navigate through dangerous situations.

KTVB reported that Ada County Paramedics unveiled its new MedCat, and officials said the group is the first EMS agency to own one of the vehicles.

"This vehicle is specifically designed for the rescue of citizens and officers who may be involved in situations that aren't accessible to normal ambulances," Tac Med Commander Chris Shandera said.

The armored ambulance is designed to go into scenarios such as active shooter scenes or a SWAT standoff.

"It's a great tool to have in our toolbox, and we expect to be able to deploy it into any of those situations that we need to," Shandera said.

Shandera said the agency previously had to borrow armored vehicles if they needed one.

"The hard part is those things are not specifically designed for taking care of patients. We can adapt to those situations, but this really helps us get the job done more efficiently," he said. "We've identified as a system that a gap in our response is maybe being able to get to some of those victims that our regular ambulance can't. When time is of the essence and we are in the presence of trauma this really helps us bridge that gap and we have the potential to save a lot more lives.”

The rig, which cost $300,000, was purchased through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security.

"You can't ever put a price on life and the capabilities that this vehicle has the potential to save many lives," Shandera said. “We are able to provide advance life support in the back of this vehicle in a high threat environment which us something a regular ambulance wouldn't have access to.”


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