EMS chief credits custom ambulance for saving crew, patient in crash

Kootenai County EMS Chief Chris Way said the ambulance, which was designed with safety in mind, “did its job” after a drunk driver crashed into it


By EMS1 Staff

KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho — An EMS chief credited a custom ambulance design for keeping a crew and their patient safe when a drunk driver crashed into the rig.

KREM reported that a Kootenai County EMS crew and the patient they were transporting suffered only minor injuries after Matthew Johnson crashed into their ambulance while going 70 mph.

"Once I saw it, I thought 'Wow, I can't believe the patient and crew are OK,’” KCEMS Chief Chris Way said. "Obviously, your mind goes to: is the patient OK?"

Way said all 15 ambulances in the KCEMS fleet were custom designed with safety in mind, adding that extra safety features were put inside all of the rigs.

"They came into the project knowing that safety was our paramount objective,” Way said.

The chief said the designs and protocols of the ambulance ensured various pieces of equipment remained stationary in the crash.

"It did its job, but it kept everything in place,” he said. "Everything we did to put safety in mind and the trucks they constructed – the job that they did really paid off for us when it counted.”

Way hopes other agencies will use the incident to consider making safety the top priority when designing their ambulances.

 

 

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