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Old 10-11-2011, 11:00 PM
Paul Steinberg Paul Steinberg is offline
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Default The hot new ambulances...

Why are all these ambulances going up in smoke?



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Old 10-11-2011, 11:31 PM
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took long enough to melt the brass valve off the O2 tank. with it beig a interier fire I would guess it was electric in nature. once the unfused wire got hot enough to get the wood burning it was all over. but then I know a little bit about how fast a couple of battries can get things red hot. still got scars under my ring to prove it. not to mention a few pictures of a different time.
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:55 PM
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The third one (Statter 911) is local to me, happened last week. The crew was two off-duty DC firefighters working their part-time job. They saved their personal effects and the portable O2 tanks. Left the monitor inside. The second, smaller exposion up front was apparently the laptop battery. Ironically, the building next to the gas station they are in is...a firehouse. Unfortunately, the engine was out at another station on a detail, so there was a significant delay in the next-due engine arriving.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:14 AM
Bill Carlin Bill Carlin is offline
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I didn't realize that ambulances had this problem. I see the first was parked in front of a Walmart...you never know what your gonna see at Walmart!!!!
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:16 PM
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To begin with they are Ford's - enuff said- but I heard that its a wiring harness problem
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:12 PM
Jeremy D. Ledford Jeremy D. Ledford is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin M. Lyons Sr. View Post
To begin with they are Ford's - enuff said- but I heard that its a wiring harness problem
Noticed the horns were hung up on two of them during the fires! And the Wal-Mart guy ****** had a little more to cuss about after checking his pants I'd say! Any one notice the Power Call Siren and the Roto-Ray on the engine in the third video?
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy D. Ledford View Post
...Any one notice the Power Call Siren and the Roto-Ray on the engine in the third video?
Yes. But they are both pretty common around here, as both (reproduction) items are manufactured locally.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:57 PM
Scott Crittenden Scott Crittenden is offline
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Vehicles burn all the time, sometimes they happen to be ambulances. I've seen a few minor fires caused by hand-held spotlights. We had one major fire that was electrical in the modular body.
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:29 AM
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If my memory is accurate, it seems that about twenty, or twenty five years ago, there was a story on the news about Ford ambulances having this problem of catching on fire. I know that there was a big recall on Ford cars with cruise control, that would also catch on fire. Although I doubt that most ambulances have cruise control, perhaps there is a connection between the two.
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:49 AM
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Bill, you remember partially correctly.

In 1986, ambulance services nationwide noted a significant increase in fires on the Ford E-series ambulances. Investigation revealed that '82-'86 Ford E-series vans with gas motors and the heavy-duty ambulance modifications had routed the fuel lines next to the hot exhaust piping. This would result in increased pressure in the fuel tank, often resulting in gas being blown out under pressure from the fuel fill, sometimes on fire. I actually was doused myself one day from this (not on fire) and you tend to remember it well when you're wearing gasoline from head to toe. There was a huge recall, as Ford probably had 50% of the ambulance market at the time, and this also affected TV station vans and some RVs. Insulation was installed, and vents or louvers were also installed in the hoods, and this and attrition solved the problem. That sealed the fate of gasoline powered ambulances, leading the switch to diesel.

Interestingly, one of the first to notice the trend at the time was New York City EMS. They initially determined that part of the problem was that their ambulances were left running for several days straight, without ever being turned off (not at the scene, not at the hospital, not at the fuel pump, never got back to quarters long enough, etc.). So that was an interesting finding.

This set of videos doesn't seem to illustrate an increase in ambulance fires, but probably an increase in ambulance fires being filmed and put on YouTube. But we'll see...
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