Techbeat Dated: November/December 2014 Pages: 17-20
This article describes the benefits for Utah's Salt Lake County in converting a former military vehicle into an ambulance that provides rescue and medical assistance in a variety of settings, from congested urban areas to rural mountain locations.
Obtained through the U.S. Defense Department's 1033 Excess Property Program, a mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle was completely demilitarized, and there are no plans to use it for tactical operations. The vehicle is suitable for entering any location, find victims, and get them inside the vehicle where treatment can begin. In order to prepare the former MRAP for its new purpose, the county removed elements not needed for its civilian use, gave it a new look with a makeover paint job, added an extensive lighting package, supplied a backup camera and beeper, and installed medical equipment in the gutted interior. The ambulance is particularly beneficial when medical help is needed in an area where potential threats exist, but the threat is not direct or immediate. This can include an unknown location of suspects in a given area and an area near but not directly exposed to material from a hazardous spill. Current emergency operational guidelines do not allow for a regular ambulance or fire truck to enter zones believed to have a higher than normal risk of danger. Part of converting the vehicle to civilian use involved developing response protocols, which include using regular duty fire personnel, not tactical medical staff, for emergency response. The driver is also a firefighter. Thus, every effort is made to communicate to the public that this is a rescue and medical treatment vehicle, not a law enforcement vehicle.
Date Published: December 1, 2014
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