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  #1  
Old 05-06-2011, 11:04 AM
Jeremy D. Ledford Jeremy D. Ledford is offline
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Default ALS Ambulances?

The other day I was looking over what all I have as ambulance equipment and the supplies stocked in my 73 M-M combination and got to thinking about what makes an ALS (Advance Life Support) ambulance? Back in the 70's I'm sure some hightops, vans etc most defiantly would have been but would any combination cars have been ALS units? I'm sure it boils down to equipment that's on board and the training but what are the specifics of the ALS unit?
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:18 AM
Paul Steinberg Paul Steinberg is offline
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A very loud siren, lots of red lights, and a fast engine.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:06 PM
Russell Street Russell Street is offline
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Short answer is Paramedics and their related equipment. It's the training and equipment that make it ALS, not the vehicle. Our back-up ride for a long time was a low top straight ambulance that on occassion ran as an ALS unit. Not pretty, but it worked.
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:07 PM
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At best, they'd have a cabinet area for a monitor/defib (as Cliff Bergum's '72 Cadillac/Superior did). The "Action Bar" was also designed to accomodate the new-fangled ALS gear. The interior that allowed easy access to the head of the stretcher was important as it's really hard to manage an airway and ventilate from beside the patient.

Of course graphics indicating that this was an ALS/Paramedic unit also helped similar to the graphics of "Oxygen Equipped" and "Radio Dispatched".
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:04 PM
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Mike Burkhart - Deceased 1948 - 2016 Mike Burkhart - Deceased 1948 - 2016 is offline
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In Jetmore, Kansas(Pop. 900) we had a 1972 Pontiac combo that we ran out of the Funeral Home. It had an Oxegen bottle with a nasal cannula and a 8X10 first aid kit. I don't think there were any ALS Ambulances anywhere in the area. When we had a funeral, the back up ambulance was a 1970 Chevy station wagon. We've come a long way, baby!!!

Most of us were not even EMT's. I was the only full time person besides the boss. No training........ Volunteers got paid $5.00 per run.
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:45 PM
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The tough thing as I recall about running ALS out of a low top was getting your IV high enough to run. Space was limited as well with the monitor/defibrillator. I remember FW had a table made for the Lifepak 5 that fit across the legs of the model 30. I have been looking for one but no such luck.
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:50 PM
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Default Advanced Life Support

Hey Jeremy!

I personally have never seen a "Combination" set up for ALS. Although it's not beyond the scope of the vehicle being able to handle (provide) ALS... equipment, it was VERY unlikely.

You'll have to review the history, to find that pre-hospital (Paramedic) care as we know it today, really started in 1965, in Pittsburgh, with the creation of Freedom House Ambulance Service (1967-1975)

Here, unemployed and often "at-risk" men were recruited from the poorer communities in Pittsburgh and trained by Peter Safar, MD (father of CPR) and Nancy Caroline, MD (Emergency Care in the Streets) and Don Benson, MD. For nearly 2 years these people were trained at Presbyterian University Hospital prior to beginning the first ALS service in early 1967.

Part of Dr. Safar's vision was to create a vehicle, capable of carrying the ALS equipment and having the ability/room to perform advanced life support in the field. FHA had 3 units that I remember. They were comprised of International (bread truck) followed by two van style ambulances that were adapted specifically for this purpose.

When I started in EMS in 1971, ALS was provided in "straight" ambulance pro-cars equipped with a monitor/ defibrillator, a drug box, some advanced airway equipment and IV's. These pro-cars (at least in Pittsburgh) eventually became a thing of the past, morphing into vans and modules by the end of the decade. In 1976, I did work for a funeral director in Pittsburgh (Frank R. Perman) who ran a successful ambulance business initially using 3 pro-cars (all Superior/ 2 cadillacs and a Pontaic) and then van style ambulances. All units were ALS equipped, with the vans being primarilly used for neonatal transports (Magee Women's Hospital) and VA (Veteran's Administration) contracted calls. (VA had 3 hospitals in Pgh)

I do recall a competing service Zepfel Ambulance, also funeral home based, that ran a combination car, as an ambulance although I do not believe it was ALS.

Hope this gives you some useful information!

Rick
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:40 PM
Steve Loftin Steve Loftin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Duffy View Post
I do recall a competing service Zepfel Ambulance, also funeral home based, that ran a combination car, as an ambulance although I do not believe it was ALS.
A site search for "Zepfel" will show an Olds combination as well as a home-brew Suburban ambulance.
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:06 PM
Steve Loftin Steve Loftin is offline
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Default Freedom House

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Duffy View Post
You'll have to review the history, to find that pre-hospital (Paramedic) care as we know it today, really started in 1965, in Pittsburgh, with the creation of Freedom House Ambulance Service (1967-1975)
More on this subject:

http://www.professionalcarsociety.or...ead.php?t=5309
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Last edited by Steve Loftin; 05-06-2011 at 06:21 PM.
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  #10  
Old 05-06-2011, 06:20 PM
Steve Loftin Steve Loftin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Burkhart View Post
In Jetmore, Kansas(Pop. 900) we had a 1972 Pontiac combo that we ran out of the Funeral Home. It had an Oxegen bottle with a nasal cannula and a 8X10 first aid kit. I don't think there were any ALS Ambulances anywhere in the area. When we had a funeral, the back up ambulance was a 1970 Chevy station wagon.
Are there any photos of these cars you can share with us?
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