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New ambulance chassis includes innovative safety improvements

The Type 1 ambulance features innovative enhancements, like mobility seating, designed with provider safety and functionality in mind

During a recent and detailed tour of the new Demers Type 1 MXP 170 ambulance, given by Greg Tucci, regional sales manager for Demers Ambulances, I was impressed by some of the remarkable design features focused on safety and power management.

A dream seat

My single favorite feature is the new Mobility Track Seating, which swivels and slides on an innovative Demers-built track mechanism. It allows you to move in almost any direction during patient care and works so well about the only time you should need to undo your seatbelt is to get something out of the cabinets.

Demers Type 1 MXP 170 ambulance. (Image Demers Ambulances)
Demers Type 1 MXP 170 ambulance. (Image Demers Ambulances)

If you need to slide towards the patient’s head it’s as easy as pulling a lever. Ditto if you need to move towards the feet. Once care has been rendered, you can swivel to a forward facing position for optimal safety.

It works so well. Somebody should have done this a long time ago. One of the most dangerous features in many ambulances is the bench seat, which essentially becomes a launching pad in an accident.

Convenient storage

Although I think the Demers Mobility Track Seat is one of the most important safety innovations in years, it’s far from the only one that stood out on the vehicle.

All the cabinets are pull-tested to a force of 25G and have windows made from Lexan, a shatterproof thermoplastic. They also come with a convenient latch you can pop and lift up to access supplies, in addition to sliding them open. This makes it easy to re-stock your supplies quickly.

Smart positioning

The MXP 170 also has a slick cardiac monitor tray mount that has been tested up to 10G and is incredibly easy to use. Much like the Mobility Seat, it’s faster and more convenient while enhancing provider safety. The last thing you want in an accident is a flying defibrillator.

The control panel in the front compartment also has been moved up higher. Called a Heads Up Console, it makes a great deal of common sense. If the driver has to look down toward the floor to operate the emergency systems, it means taking takes their eyes off the road. The higher location solves this problem.

The rear compartment also contains an emergency door release. In an accident sometimes the primary door release can jam and fail, but the MXP 170 has a secondary release. Think airplane emergency exit on an ambulance — when you need out right away, you will always be able to get out.

Wired up

It also has a sophisticated standard multiplex electrical system complex enough to make my eyes glaze over when Greg tried to explain it to me.

It is a modular system that prevents excess electrical loads to your truck. The Demers service support team also can access the electrical system remotely to diagnose and customize the system from their home office.

The HVAC system also was impressive. Hot air is ducted at floor level and projected upwards toward the ceiling, heating the coldest air first and maximizing efficiency. The air conditioning works exactly opposite, cooling the hottest air first and then directing it downwards through five adjustable ceiling vents.

Ecosmart technology and an anti-idling system reduce fuel consumption by up to 40 percent, and the lightweight construction  provides a usable payload of up to 3,000 pounds.

So many ambulances often are maxed out when you buy them. Having a reserve capacity not only improves economy, but extends usable life and enhances vehicle safety.

The Demers MXP 170 is an innovative new ambulance design, with one of the best seats I’ve ever seen, and long-overdue enhancements to provider safety.

If you are looking for a Type 1 vehicle, perhaps for fire-based EMS where you need more room to carry gear, this is one truck you should take a hard look at. 

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