||Here are summaries of selected mishaps recently reported to the EMS Department. What could have been done to prevent these?
- While removing a scoop stretcher, a backboard fell out of its compartment and struck a member, causing a laceration. (Note: We now recommend that new ambulances be built with upper retention bars in the backboard compartment to prevent this.)
- An ambulance tried to follow a police car through a boom barrier (swing-arm gate), but the boom came down on the ambulance. The ambulance was damaged and the boom was knocked away. Boom barriers only allow one vehicle through at a time.
- Two different ambulances on two different calls were trying to turn around in driveways, but ventured onto unpaved territory and got stuck in mud. Both had to be towed out. One of the tows could not be accomplished without causing additional damage to the ambulance.
- While backing into the station with a spotter, an ambulance scraped the building with its right side. (If there are enough personnel, a second member should get out and spot from the vehicle’s right front corner.)
- On two occasions, one ambulance backed into another ambulance at a station. Spotters should give early signals to stop.
- When a zone medic arrived on scene and exited the SUV, the vehicle rolled forward until it hit a fence. The driver was not in the habit of using the parking brake.
- A stretcher tipped over with a patient on board. Members had been going down a curb at an angle. The long axis of the stretcher should always be completely perpendicular to any linear obstacle or threshold.
- An ambulance on a narrow two-lane road needed to stop for a patient procedure, but no pull-off areas were readily available. The driver pulled onto the shoulder, but the grass was hiding a ditch, which the ambulance slid into until it was resting on its undercarriage. The patient had to be transferred (with difficulty) to another ambulance. The ambulance suffered additional damage as it was towed out of the ditch.