Friday Morning – Playing Catchup
I need to apologize for the scant number of articles posted over the past couple of days. Demands on my time this week have been more than I was able to keep up with and I've been called away from FG HQ more than usual, but I think that things will start calming down a bit now. I hope to get caught back up with the postings today and tomorrow. There is lots of good stuff waiting for us.
Here are a couple of things I pulled out of the In Box to get things going this morning:
* I don't know if you caught this or not, but JEMS reported Tuesday that Ford Motor Co. has recalled 3,100 ambulances because their diesel engines might stop running suddenly while driving along. CLICK HERE to read that one. Apparently they still haven't figured out why they suddenly catch fire while parked in the station. I guess that one will eventually get taken care of through attrition.
* Speaking of ambulances, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT – is far and away probably the top engineering school in the country, if not the entire world. And when they take on a project, good things happen. The students there operate their own EMS service using their own ambulace and they take advantage of their scholastics to try and improve the equipment and gadgets that are normally carried on ambulances everywhere.
About every ten years their ambulance reaches its replacement age and wear, so they start designing their own specs. utilizing a practical but advances wish-list of how they want the new one to be configured. Their latest unit was reaching that stage when in 2011 they began designing the replacement. This time they concentrated on patient and medic safety inside the box and the results of their work is now on the streets in their newly-acquired ambulance.
In an article from the university's own publication, MIT News is reporting in part:
As the ones who would be using the ambulance, the students felt they were best qualified to define its capabilities. For inspiration and guidance, they conducted teleconferences with leading global safety experts and went on site visits to see other EMT teams’ ambulances.
"We designed the ambulance around safety," says biology major Dylan Soukup ’14, who is current MIT-EMS chief. "We knew we wanted five-point harnesses, seats that swiveled, equivalent storage on either side of the stretcher, and other essentials. We went feature-by-feature."
After six months, it was time to turn the blueprints into reality, a task that had its own challenges, Forgues says. "A number of major manufacturers wouldn’t even bid on it," he says, due to the ambulance’s unusual dimensions and customizations. Eventually, Braun Ambulances accepted the challenge, taking eight months to complete the vehicle. Braun used their 23-foot Chief XL chassis ambulance as the model for the new MIT ambulance — which left just 10 inches of wiggle room in the ambulance bay.
Notable among the vehicle’s safety features is a lack of "strike zones" — any protrusion that could cause an EMT to hit his or her head while working. Video displays are embedded flush with the wall, and eye-level cabinets have been replaced with drawers with magnetic seals. Not only do these drawers not accidentally open as the ambulance turns a corner — as they did in the previous ambulance — but their contents are more accessible than a cabinet’s, where front items may obscure objects in the back.
The MIT-EMS crew shows off their new "bus."
It's a good, informative story and shows what can be done when a problem is looked at from the "outside" where preconceived notions don't exist as much. Read the complete ARTICLE HERE and then we can chat about it in the day room after we finish getting the equipment checked out. This will keep us busy discussing it for a while, so I'll get a couple of pots started in the Bunn-O-Matic for us. See you there.
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