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Why vehicle intelligence matters to EMS agencies

Smart ambulances help EMS agencies become more data-driven, making fleet management safer and more cost-effective


American Emergency Vehicles (AEV) now offers Traumahawk Telematics as standard equipment on many of its Type I, Type III and Medium-Duty ambulances. This technology provides integrated vehicle intelligence solutions to more efficiently manage ambulance fleets and keep EMS crews and patients safer.


Sponsored by American Emergency Vehicles

By Cole Zercoe for EMS1 BrandFocus

In public safety, each passing minute could be the difference between life and death, which is why successful management of a fleet of emergency vehicles requires ensuring that the best routes are taken, vehicles are well maintained and that drivers are getting to their calls safely. From mechanical failures to inefficient vehicle deployment to preventable accidents, poor fleet management can be costly for an EMS agency.

Optimal performance cannot be achieved without true data-driven decision-making. Smart ambulances outfitted with telematics technology provide the kinds of insights that enable agency leaders to take a more analytical approach to fleet management, saving time and money by helping your agency do what you do better at a cheaper cost.


Telematics technology has developed over the years to offer far more than just GPS monitoring and other basic tracking data. From improved resource allocation to preventative maintenance to enhanced driver safety, telematics enables EMS agencies to gain concrete insights into emergency vehicle management in many different areas.

A truly “smart” ambulance, like those now available from American Emergency Vehicles with integrated Traumahawk Telematics technology powered by ACETECH, collects a comprehensive set of data and provides key metrics decision-makers can use to better inform how they operate their emergency vehicle fleet –both in real time for quick, in-the-field decisions and after action to help formulate long-term strategies.

Traumahawk Telematics are built into many of AEV’s time-tested, American-crafted customizable ambulances. Among the features Traumahawk Telematics provides are:

  • Real-time driver and fleet monitoring.
  • Real-time driver safety coaching.
  • Maintenance alerts.
  • Collision reports.
  • Geofencing capabilities.
  • Battery and fuel use monitoring.

All of this is collected and securely stored in the cloud – even in cellular dead zones – and securely uploaded and stored in the ACETECH cloud when cell signals reappear, ensuring that the data can be easily accessed at any time with no gaps in information.


It goes without saying that one of the biggest cost-drivers in emergency fleet management is vehicle maintenance and repair. Ambulances undergo significant wear and tear given the demands of the industry. Unexpected repairs can tally in the thousands, and ambulances that aren’t well maintained suffer from shortened lifespans, potentially costing an agency hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace a unit that could have spent more time in service.

In addition to these costs, poorly maintained emergency vehicles may also become a safety hazard for EMS workers, and lengthy repairs can result in significant downtime, causing logistical problems and added stress as personnel are forced to cover the gap for out-of-service vehicles.

Preventative maintenance – such as monitoring batteries, brakes and engine oil – keeps your fleet running efficiently, saving time and money in the long run by solving issues before they become serious problems. Traumahawk Telematics provides automatic maintenance alerts to help fleet managers identify repair issues and schedule preventive maintenance while letting ambulance crews focus on patient care.


One of the most complex aspects of emergency fleet management is resource allocation. As EMS agencies continue to grapple with personnel challenges stemming from issues like the ongoing staffing crisis and a surge in calls during the COVID-19 pandemic, optimizing vehicle routes and deployment is critical – and arguably more challenging than ever.

Telematics can ease much of the burden of this task through live interactive maps that provide real-time tracking of ambulance locations and monitoring of geofenced zones of key areas such as hospitals to ensure that the best routes are being taken, the closest units are being deployed to the scene and that hot spots are covered. After-action replays of routes driven or the time taken to get to a call can help inform future strategies and identify areas where driver training is needed.

Traumahawk also enhances driver safety and reduces liability by monitoring compliance with agency protocols through features like accelerometer and turning data, seat belt usage, idling times and use of lights and sirens. When incidents like a crash do occur, route replays help fleet managers review incidents and encourage accountability.


From fuel efficiency to trends in driver behavior, Traumahawk Telematics features a highly customizable set of analytics in a simple-to-use web interface that allows access via a desktop, tablet or mobile device, as well as text and email alerts.

And it’s not just raw data being provided to fleet managers – Traumahawk Telematics transforms the information being collected from ambulances into intelligence reports that enables optimization of fleet activity, improved safety and compliance.

By getting a full view of your fleet through comprehensive, reliable data, telematics technology helps reduce unnecessary costs associated with ambulances by reducing operational downtime, increasing fuel efficiency, ensuring compliance with safety protocols and identifying preventive maintenance and repairs.

Visit AEV to learn more about how smart ambulances with Traumahawk Telematics can deliver critical insights to help you make data-driven decisions and form better strategies for optimizing your fleet.

Read Next: ACETECH partners with AEV for their new telematics module, Traumahawk Telematics

About the Author

Cole Zercoe previously served as Senior Associate Editor of Lexipol’s and His award-winning features focus on the complexity of policing in the modern world and other public safety topics.