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FireMedic68227

Ambulances without a bench seat?

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Hello all. I am inquiring how many of you have worked, or are currently working in an ambulance that does not have a bench seat, but in stead has a single seat on a track? What are your feelings on this type of ambulance. Also, do you mainly do long distance transfers, emergency calls, both, advance life support, or basic life support? Thank you.

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Our new units are coming with a single seat. The seat is not on a track. I have worked out of one of these units and liked it. I believe it is safer than the bench seat, you are actually restrained. I also find it more comfortable.

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The largest employer in my region has moved to this design, for all operations; urban / suburban / rural / ALS / BLS / IFT.

We are told they are safer, which they probably are, if staff wear the seatbelt as much as possible. Personally, I'm still not convinced that they're much safer --- most ambulance models haven't been crash-tested, and many have hard corners on the cabinetry that are essentially plywood edges covered with a quarter-inch of foam. On the other hand, any move in the direction of safety is long overdue. I fear the bench seat is an endangered species, and will soon be extinct.

In terms of negatives, on the models we use, it's impossible to turn the seat 90 degrees to the patient, because your knees/shins will contact the stretcher. In the trucks that do primarily IFT / LDTs, I see most of the seats rotated forward in the direction of travel. In most of the trucks doing 911, I see it facing 45 degrees towards the patient, which is a compromise to allow for patient care while preserving some leg room. On the models I've used, it's not desirable or particularly easy to move the seat while providing patient care. It seems like some of the handles for seat adjustment tend to break off. The positioning of the seat tends to restrict access to the patient somewhat, and make for some awkward IV starts.

Removing the bench seat also results in a loss of storage space, causing some supplies to be moved to external cupboards. One of the compromises, in the models I've used, is that the monitor is placed in front of attendants seat, which makes it pretty much impossible to position so that everyone in the truck can see it. It also leads to cables obstructing movement from the seat.

So personally, I don't like these designs. I think they take up too much space, are not that usable, but will probably improve. A fair bit of this is not liking change, and may be specific to the implementation my employer has adopted, which didn't have a lot of consultation with front-line staff. My preference is for a bench seat configuration, but, I think these are going to become rarer and eventually vanish.

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Just about all our trucks now have the side seat on a track. Can rotate through 180 and slide forwards and back with a three point seat belt. They've placed commonly used equipment in two drawers within reach and gloves above. I really like it; much nicer ride on bumpier roads too then having your back on the wall.

We use the Demers MX170. Great trucks!

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I have never sat on a bench seat, typically those were installed to transport a second patient (those aluminum cups on the lid of the bench were used to stablize the pegs of the second army type canvas stretcher in the 60s-70s). It is way past time that we look at a safer/more convenient way to design the back of an ambulance. I remember a study from years ago, where an air-medic/engineer looked at the sharp corner designs of the cabinets and the lack of proper restraints in the back of our boxes and said he would never ride back there without a helmet on.

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the UK has rarely had benchs in the back of ambulances moving directly from twin cot vehicles to single cot and forward facing seats / turntable seats ...

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My primary unit I work in is set up for a single seat on the passenger side and another on the driver side of the box. I like it a lot more than a bench, especially due to provider safety if involved in a TC.

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How do you define a bench seat? The units I work in have a small seat on one side, a seat that runs the length of the pt compartment on the other side, and a rotating "captain's chair" at the head of the patient.

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The small seat on the driver side is commonly referred to as the CPR seat, the seat at the head of the cot is also called the Airway Seat, and the long bench like seating area on the passenger side of the vehicle is commonly called the bench seat, or squad bench.

Here is a picture of a bench seat and an airway seat from the demers website

http://www.demers-ambulances.com/assets/pictures/features/MXP170_1_5551_New_curbside_window_thumb.jpg

Here is a picture of the track seating offered by Demers;

http://www.demers-ambulances.com/assets/pictures/features/160S_7a_Mobility_track_chair.gif

Edited by Arctickat

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