Improper turns that result in “curbing” tires and side-swiping obstacles are *major* problems in our system, especially with ambulances. In the past 3 days, we’ve had at least 3 ambulances damaged and taken out of service by these errors. Unfortunately, that rate of damage is not terribly unusual for us. I estimate that repairs from these events costs the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars each year. And many “curb checks” probably occur daily in our vehicles that simply cause embarrassment and/or discomfort.
Whether or not an improper turn causes damage, we must do better. We are expected to exhibit professional-level driving skills with all our vehicles.
The following graphic has been reviewed by all squad commanders and provides guidance that we should be using when turning ambulances. All of this is taught in EVOC – none of it is new. The challenge is, whenever you take a seat behind the wheel, to keep this stuff in mind!
— Division Chief Kevin Lipscomb, NRP
— Regulation & Support Services
— Va Beach EMS Department