SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Spring River Paramedic Ambulance Service is leading the way with a new cabin design, being the first in the nation to utilize the military-inspired layout.
The service wanted a safer option for their paramedics, working in the back of the ambulance.
That new safety feature is a pivoting chair, rather than the traditional squad bench for the paramedic.
It has a 6-point safety harness that allows the medic to stand up, move around, treat the patient, and reach all of the equipment while still buckled up.
"The seat can rotate forward so when we are driving down the road they're in the position that the seat is built to protect them if we're in a collision," operations manager Robert Hartgraves said.
But, since the ambulance service is in a rural area, they needed an option that included room for two patients and that design did not have one.
Hartgraves is a former flight medic, though, and designed a new plan.
"We actually used a military-style system that's used in military aircraft that has removed arms and can hold a military litter," Hartgraves said. "So we carry a military stretcher and if we have a second patient, we put them on it and they can be secured to the side wall using that device."
General Manager Bart Schultz said they are the first in the nation to use this design.
When they took the ambulances to the statewide EMS convention, they drew a lot of attention.
"There were a lot of services taking pictures and asking questions," Schultz said. "I hope it's the trend for the future because it is safer for everyone."
The new ambulances will be used within the next two weeks.
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