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NAEMT Representatives Comment on Ambulance Standards

Dec 20, 2010

NAEMT, in collaboration with the American Ambulance Association (AAA), has provided the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) with a formal response to requests for comments on NFPA 1917: Standards for Automotive Ambulances.

The General Services Administration (GSA) is the federal agency charged with overseeing the federal KKK-A-1822 standard, which it created as a guideline for the proper construction of an ambulance. For some time, the GSA has indicated its preference to no longer revise that document or have that document referred to as an ‘ambulance standard’. In 2009, the NFPA assembled a group of stakeholders with the task of developing automotive ambulance standards. A diverse and knowledgeable group of experts within emergency medical services and the ambulance manufacturers industry were brought together by the NFPA to assist in the development of these standards.

NAEMT Immediate Past President Jerry Johnston was appointed to the NFPA Technical Working Group to represent NAEMT. “The EMS industry has recognized for some time the need for an evidence-based approach to ambulance design. With rare exceptions, our design today is identical to that of 30 years ago,” said Johnston.

In November, the NFPA released NFPA 1917: Standards for Automotive Ambulances for public comment. NAEMT formed a committee to review the proposed standards and submit comments on behalf of the NAEMT membership. The committee consisted of Jerry Johnston (Chair), NAEMT Board Member Don Lundy, and members Mark Postma and Dave Morando.

“This was an incredibly large and detailed project,” noted Johnston. The committee spent hours poring over the document, then met for a full day to refine the comments and finalize the document. “Keeping in mind that ambulances are our members’ “office”, our approach was to review the document with an eye on existing standards and data as well as focus on crew and patient comfort and safety.

View the NFPA 1917: Standards for Automotive Ambulances and NAEMT’s response here.