10/04/12 104 W, 1 I - + 12 - 17 Category I Ambulance Inspection Checklist, 1991

Here's a blast from rescue's past, a state inspection sheet for a Category I ambulance from September 25, 1991. (Guess that's EMT-capable category?) Raleigh's Rescue 6 was inspected by NC OEMS. Obviously, these were just the state-mandated items aboard, and not a complete inventory of the unit's equipment. (That would be a neat document to add, if I can find a copy of a vintage checklist.) Rescue 6 was still operating a 1974 Chevy/Murphy ambulance at the time, and would be replaced in a few months by a 1991 Chevy/Frontline ambulance-body rescue truck. Read those histories. Click to view the PDF document:

One of the big changes from then to now is that the “tool box” has been removed. Now ambulances don’t have to carry basic tools. Those really used to come in handy. I’ve used that 48” pry bar on many calls, as well as the screwdriver, wrench, etc. when we had a kid stuck in something and needed to get them out (bannister, fence, etc.). Now EMS relies on FD to do that type of thing. Note that Tom Collie with OEMS performed the inspection. He was a great guy, very personable and if you took him to lunch somewhere good, you generally passed!
Jason Thompson (Email) (Web Site) - 10/04/12 - 10:59

If you look at the list provided by the state, that was everything you had to have to pass as an emergency ambulance. All of the ‘soft’ goods could be placed in a single case (gauze, tape, scissors, BVM, etc.) in a single carrier. There was a large plastic one available back then that was available in blue, orange, and green (from Dyna-Med or Physio Systems (later Southeastern Emergency)) with a detachable bottom compartment that was popular. Although not officially the reason, there were still a lot of hearse/ambulance combination cars and home-made vans in service as ambulances when this list was devised. Many of these vehicles did not have much in the way of cabinet space, so having it all in a box or bag or two helped out. TV tube caddies were immensely popular for this.

Even when this list was used, many c-collars were ‘re-usable’ foam collars made of a stockinette material over foam rubber (you just simply put some more stockinette over the blood stains). The same applied to the padded board splints, only they were just pieces of 1/4” or 3/8” plywood cut into 3”-3 1/3” wide pieces, wrapped in bandage roll material. Also, only one strap was required for the stretcher, as opposed to many stretchers that have the four-point shoulder harness plus two more straps.
DJ - 10/05/12 - 12:10

Remember personal info?

/ Textile

Comment moderation is enabled on this site. This means that your comment will not be visible on this site until it has been approved by an editor.

To prevent spam we require you to answer this silly question

  (Register your username / Log in)

Hide email:

Small print: All html tags except <b> and <i> will be removed from your comment. You can make links by just typing the url or mail-address.