Tag Archives: EMS

History of the Star of Life




The Star of Life was designed by Leo R. Schwartz, who was Chief of the EMS Branch of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 1973, the American Red Cross complained to the NHTSA that the use of the common Omaha Orange Cross on a square background of reflectorized white closely resembled the Red Cross symbol. Once the NHTSA investigated and agreed with the complaint, the new Blue Star of Life (displayed above) was born.


This new symbol was designed using the Medical Identification Symbol as a guide. The Star of Life was registered as a certification mark with the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks on February 1, 1977.


The center of the star consists of the snake and staff. The staff is named Asclepius, who according to Greek mythology, was the son of Apollo. Theory states Asclepius learned the art of healing from the centaur Cheron.. Asclepius was usually shown in a standing position with a long cloak and holding a staff with a serpent coiled around it. This is why the staff is the long-standing symbol representing medicine.  In the Physicians and Military Medical Corp, the Caduceus is used. The Caduceus is a winged staff with two serpents intertwined around it.


The six points of the Star of Life Symbol are meant to represent the true meaning of the EMS System. These include Detection, Reporting, Response, On Scene Care, Care in Transit, and Transfer to Definitive Care.


The use of the Star of Life Symbol is regulated and monitored by the NHTSA

Safety Trends and Innovations in Ambulances Available for Sale

Safety Trends and Innovations in Ambulances Available for Sale

The U.S. ambulance industry is always looking for innovative ways to protect not only the patients but also the crew of the ambulance. Ambulance manufacturers are companies that design, construct and test the different types of ambulances. TheseGlobal Emergency Vehicles - Refurbished Used Ambulances For Sale ambulances are used for emergency situations but can also provide transportation in non-emergency cases.  Just as Global Emergency Vehicles has EMS and rescue trained professionals working for us, these manufacturers also employ staff that have experience in the emergency services field.
When you are in the market to buy a new or a used ambulance, safety and reliability is some of the important factors in your decision.  In my research I have identified some of the manufacturers that emphasise safety and are very innovative in their design and production of ambulances they sell.

 Company Reviews

The first company we would like to review is  American Emergency Vehicles (AEV). AEV manufactures most of their own parts and components.  All of their parts go through a very rigorous testing procedure before they are installed on an ambulance. Their vehicle bodies also get crash tested. They also go through weight testing that exceeds industry standards. Next we have Braun Industries:  This manufacturer is located in Ohio and their top priority is quality. Braun’s SolidBody construction allows them to build modules that are lighter and at the same time lighter and stronger which leads to increased safety.   Braun’s quality team has a 800 point inspection process that each vehicle goes through before it is given the “Built For Life” seal of approval. And the third manufacturer we would like to review is Wheeled Coach Industries. This company is based in Florida and is the largest ambulance manufacturer in the US with many innovative product developments, such as:  SafePASS Safety System, the new industry-leading safety system with specially-designed door handles and an emergency direct release tab for exit in case of an accident.  Such system provides increased safety for both patients and crew.  Wheeled Coach also came up with DuraLite Cabinet Systems that set the standard for durability and stability for the ambulances. Corner Cap Lighting System from Wheeled Coach is the only 360° lighting coverage protecting DOT marker lights to minimize damage in case of an accident.  EnterSafe Top,  the only 45° lighting system in ambulance industry. It provides increased visibility for Type II ambulances.  Pure Air Filtration System (P.A.F.S) ™ designed by Wheeled Coach exceeds Federal KKK-A-1822E specifications. It is a self-contained, heating and cooling system that cleans and decontaminates air, and reduces the risk of infection from airborne pathogens.

Safety and Reliability in Used and Refurbished Ambulances

The three companies we have discussed have particular focus on safety and reliability of their emergency vehicles. Like the manufacturers discussed above, we at Global Emergency Vehicles, which is the largest dealer of refurbished used ambulances and other emergency vehicles, are concerned with the safety of patients and crew and always make sure ambulances we sell do not leave our facility without a complete safety inspection.


To see our vast list of refurbished used emergency vehicles please click here.


Tips for buying a used ambulance

Tips for buying a used ambulance

Freightliner Ambulance

Used ambulances are a lot like used cars in terms of mechanical wear issues, but they also have the added complexity of the medical and electrical equipment in the rear patient compartment. Unlike the average car, a lot of people will be depending on your ambulance to function properly, and in many cases the situation could be of life or death importance. So here are some things to consider before you buy a used ambulance so that you can be confident in your purchase.

Leader Ambulance

Types of Ambulances

It is important, to consider what type of ambulance you need for the patients you serve and the community you are in. Factors like fuel economy, storage space, or off-road use are all significant factors in buying the right vehicle.

If you do mostly non-emergency transports, then a Type II Ambulance is ideal for its better comparable fuel economy, and tighter dimensions on the road — it is basically just a standard van.

If emergency response is your main thing, then you will probably want an ambulance with a larger rear module that will offer more functionality on-scene. Type IIIs tend to be the standard, all-rounder choice, but many fire and rescue squads prefer the larger Medium Duty ambulances because they offer more space for gear and equipment. Many Medium Duty ambulances are even outfitted for SCBA use and storage, catering specifically to fire-rescue applications.

Many departments who operate in more remote areas may serve patients, or perform rescue operations, in areas that are off-road and could not be reached by a conventional vehicle. This is where 4×4 ambulances come in. Most 4×4 ambulance applications are of the Type I variety, based on a truck chassis, but there are 4×4 conversion kits available for Type IIIs and Type IIs from companies like Quigley.

Ambulances for sale

Mechanical Issues

The basis of an ambulance is usually a commercial van or truck chassis from a major automobile manufacturer, such as Ford, GM or Mercedes. You can research reliability and mechanical maintenance costs by asking a mechanic about the specific model chassis or also by checking on manufacturer-specific online forums.

The basics are as follows:

For diesel engines, the most reliable vehicles are undoubtedly Fords fitted with the 7.3L turbo-diesel V8 engine (1995-2003 models).

For 2004 and 2005 model years it is usually a better idea to go with a GM product because the early Ford 6.0L diesels are notorious for having expensive problems.

After 2006, Ford’s 6.0L diesel did begin to get better, but it would never rival the 7.3L. They basically got to the point where the problems became manageable, but still hardly ideal. There are some modifications you can make to Ford 6.0Ls that can make them much more reliable, but most of it comes down to just being diligent about maintaining it properly. Too many companies avoid maintenance to save on costs, and with a Ford 6.0L, that is a grave mistake.

As far as GM products go, they’re sort of right in the middle. Their 6.6L DuraMax Turbo-Diesel V8 engine doesn’t quite measure up to the 7.3L’s legendary durability, but it is a heck of a lot better than Ford’s 6.0L.

In terms of Sprinters, the repair record is pretty good. Mercedes-Benz has been making diesel engines for quite a long time, and their 3.0L turbo-diesel V6 is right up there with the 7.3L. Mix the durability with the better fuel economy of a much smaller engine, and it is easy to see why Sprinters are quite the hot commodity these days.

ambulance for sale

Ambulance Equipment

Everything wears out over time, that is a fact of life when buying any used item. The trick to making a smart purchase is to either find something of great quality that will last longer, or to buy something that has been refurbished.

Most ambulance dealerships sell their vehicles as-is, without much fixing up, and a brief detail job, if you’re lucky. If you are buying a used ambulance that hasn’t been refurbished, your best bet is to find something that was top quality when it was brand new. Look for vehicles from solid ambulance manufacturers like Braun, Horton, PL Custom, AEV, Crestline, or Road Rescue, and you will at least be starting with something that was built well to begin with.

All of that said, your best bet for buying a quality used ambulance is to find one that has had some refurbishing work done to it. It is a mistake to think that any used vehicle will be 100% perfect, but at least a refurbished ambulance has been gone over with a fine-tooth-comb and has had any outstanding issues repaired. During the refurbishing process, all of the ambulance’s systems are tested, and it is shown to be a fully functional emergency vehicle before it is delivered to its new owner.

About Us (Full Disclosure)

Our company, Global Emergency Vehicles, was founded on the simple idea that buyers of used ambulances, and the patients they serve, deserve a better product than most ambulance dealerships offer. Our team of technicians goes over each of our vehicles with our 125 point inspection, and fix any outstanding issues they find. We do our very best to ensure that we deliver the best quality used ambulances possible to our customers for the budget they have to spend, and at the very least, they know that our refurbished used ambulances are a more solid than the un-refurbished units they would find elsewhere.

Ambulance Companies Are Excited About The New Ford Transit

2015 Ford Transit Van base for a Type II Ambulance2015 Ford Transit Chassis base for a Type III Ambulance

Only so often does an entirely new ambulance platform come on the scene. The current Ford Econoline based ambulances have been with us for over two decades now, and a lot has changed in the EMS industry, and indeed the world as a whole, during that time. A new ambulance platform is long overdue, one that will bring the EMS industry fully into the 21st century.

Ford’s new “One Ford” plan aims to integrate all of the company’s formerly separate divisions into one product line for the global market. Since the onset of the program, Ford’s new products have been taking the American automotive industry by storm, and soon it will be affecting the EMS world as well in the form of new Type II and Type III Ambulances.

Continue reading

Infrared self-guiding robotic intubation device set for clinical trials

An infrared robotic intubation device, called the GuidIN Tube, is under development by Biodesign researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  This ingenious device uses infrared light externally applied to the throat to guide the tube towards the patient’s trachea and into the lungs.   This will greatly help first responders in low light conditions, military personnel or with patients where fluids are present in the throat.  The GuidIn Tube may help them get patients breathing a little quicker which would potentially save more lives.

Continue reading