Tag Archives: history

History of the Star of Life

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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

Demers Ambulance

Demers Ambulances: New Ambulances with Lower Operational Costs Provide Greater Value

Whether you are a member of a volunteer rescue squad or a private ambulance company, chances are two things that are important to your organization  are helping those in need and being financially sound when doing so. The first part of this statement is usually what draws folks into this line of work, the second part is what allows them to stay in it and even prosper. One of the largest investments made by these organizations would be their emergency vehicles.

Global Emergency Vehicles understands this and that is why they were built on the principle of providing quality used emergency vehicles at fair prices. One way that GEV ensures that they deliver value is through their 125-point inspection and refurbishing plans. Another way that they can ensure quality refurbished vehicles is to select vehicles that were originally built by quality manufacturers. Demers Ambulance is a new ambulance manufacturer based in Canada that builds their ambulances with quality and lower operational costs in mind.

Demers has built and delivered 15,000 ambulances over the past 50 years, but this family influenced company began building custom “ambulance and hearse” buggies back in 1892. By the 1960′s they were building an ambulance using a station wagon base that had the roof replaced with a steel top and the body actually cut and lengthened. By the early 1970′s they had begun production on their first van ambulance. The mid – 1970′s started an expansion into Latin America and by the end of the decade they had also delivered more than 1600 ambulances to the Middle East. By 2000 they had entered the US market with products that exceeded KKK-A-1812 standards. Today they employ over 150 people and maintain a 54,000 square foot headquarters and production facility that produces 1500 units annually.

To ensure that they build well reviewed and functional ambulances, Demers has used paramedics input into the designing of their vehicles. Demers uses a Continuous Flow Process assembly line to build their vehicles. There are sixteen separate stations that the vehicle moves through as it is being built. At the end of each stage there is a Quality and Assurance check to ensure compliance. If an issue is discovered they can return to the last stage that had been successfully completed and then correct the issues at hand. With this process in place Demers can build 30 ambulances per week. More importantly, a standardized process means better overall quality.

Demers believes that their value is increased through lower operational costs when using their vehicles. Since the new ambulances are built with quality parts and a proven design, the overall satisfaction with the ambulance is quite high.  Another way that Demers can add to the value of their product is through their safety features. Safety features allow the attendants to perform the necessary tasks without risking their own well-being. If an attendant is injured and is unable to work for an organization they will be negatively affected in many different ways. Avoiding these problems are important to remaining financially sound. Some of the innovations that they have introduced are rounded corners and cabinetry that is made from shatter-proof materials. They have developed their Track Mobility System Seating that allows for the Attendant’s seat to roll on  track from one end of the workstation to the other, eliminating the need to get up (unsecured) and move back and forth. Not only does this feature allow for the seat to move from front to back, it also provides a 180 degree turn. This allows the attendant to perform all of the necessary tasks while securely fastened in their seat. Finally the auxiliary console is set up to be ergonomically sound and allows the attendant to control many vehicle features from a central location.

Not only is Demers concerned with producing quality vehicles that promote user safety, the also strive to produce the most fuel efficient vehicles in the market. Demers quest for better fuel efficiency actually started well before the recent gas crisis that have caused record prices. Demers actually began addressing this problem back in the 1990′s when they replaced many parts with durable and lighter options. One of the first such changes was eliminating the use of wooden cabinets and moving toward aluminum alternatives. This allowed the company to produce a lighter vehicle with a lower center of gravity which increased steering control and helped prevent the rolling of the unit. Producing a lighter unit also extends the life of other parts on the vehicle like brakes and tires. Demers Type II ambulances have an aero dynamic build that produces up to a 12% increase in fuel economy. The design duplicated on a Type III ambulance resulted in a 3% increase in fuel efficiency. Lastly, the Anti-Idling System features a monitor that tracks battery voltage and rear compartment temperatures. Once it reaches certain thresholds the system will shut down the engine but continue to monitor the outputs. If necessary, the engine would restart and the process would repeat itself. Tests show that this alone can reduce fuel consumption by 40% during idle time, which translates to thousands of dollars annually.

Demers has been building quality ambulances for quite some time and their focus is delivering value after the sale by providing lower operational costs. Global Emergency Vehicles delivers value by thoroughly inspecting and refurbishing the emergency vehicles they sell. To ensure that you are getting the best value for your budget dollars, why not try a GEV refurbished Demers ambulance?

Take a look at Demers ambulances currently in the GEV Inventory here.

Continued Research of Safety Innovations on Ambulances Available in Today’s Market

Safety is an important part of all of our lives. Whether it is a mother looking after her children or an employer making sure their employees are protected from hazards, safety is an ongoing concern. Ambulance manufacturers understand the importance of safety when it comes to building their new ambulances. These emergency vehicles are often perform a duty where time is of the essence, but the safe passage of both the crew, the patient , and the public is paramount. Engineers at these companies are constantly testing and evaluating their products with the hopes that new ambulances available for sale today are safer than their previous versions.

Over time, these new emergency vehicles become used ambulances. Pre-owned ambulances can present a whole new set of challenges when they are put back into service. From disregarding proper maintenance to normal “wear and tear” these units can become less safe than when they were sold by a new ambulance dealer. Global Emergency Vehicles recognizes this and that is why all of our vehicles go through our 125-point inspection before they are  presented to the market as “refurbished used emergency  vehicles”. We are an ambulance dealer who is committed to offering quality vehicles at a fair price and safety is a key component of our company.

One of the manufacturers of new  ambulances with an excellent reputation for safety is Horton Emergency Vehicles. Horton was formed in 1968 and they were the first organization to build a van ambulance. By the mid – 1970′s they were building both Type I ad Type III models. It was about this time that they decided that safety was going to be one of the cornerstones of their operation. Horton put their new ambulances through a series of testing and evaluations and has made several outstanding innovations toward emergency vehicle safety.

The Horton Occupant Protection System (HOPS) is one of their most important contributions to the innovation process for the ambulances available on the market today. HOPS is made up of several safety features, that used in combination provide some of the best occupant protection in the industry.  To show their customers how important safety is to the company, this system is not an upgrade, but instead it is the standard on all Horton Emergency Vehicles.

The first part of the system  are seat belts. Horton employs a three-point belt system that has been  tested to remain attached at 19,500 pounds. In addition, the seatbelts allow for an EMS worker to detach the over-the-shoulder portion while keeping the lap belt secured. This allows them the flexibility of movement while keeping them secure in the event of a crash or rollover.

The second part of HOPS are the airbags. By using test crash dummies and live testing, Horton has determined that occupant injury or even death would be quite possible in the event of impact or a rollover. With this in mind, the engineers at Horton have developed two types of airbags that are deployed. There is an inflatable head curtain that works alongside a tubular structure airbag that is used in tandem to protect the occupants in the attendant’s and CPR seat.

The final two pieces that make up HOPS are the Impact Wall and the Resistance Foam Padding. Through their testing Horton has determined that traditional ideas of padding and netting or “A” bars are not the most effective. Instead, Horton has developed a resistant foam padding that helps dissipate the energy over the surface area and reduces the force incurred on impact. The Impact Wall protects the occupant from injuries sustained by impact with the front wall cabinets.

With the HOPS system, Horton has separated itself from their competition by their commitment to safety. With our 125-point inspection and refurbishing, Global Emergency Vehicles separates our refurbished used ambulances from our competitor’s offerings. Safety will always play a large role in the Emergency Vehicles Industry and should be taken into consideration when purchasing a new or used emergency vehicle.