New style ambulances help AMR paramedics take better care of patients

AMR new style ambulance. (Credit: AMR Central Mississippi)

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – New AMR ambulances are out on Mississippi streets, replacing older models in its local fleet of some 45 ambulances.

AMR Central Mississippi, the ambulance service for Hinds, Simpson and Smith counties, recently acquired eleven 2017 ambulances built on Ford’s “Transit” chassis.

Eight of the 11 new vehicles are now in service in metro Jackson.  AMR put the first on the street in early October and plans to put the other three into service in the first quarter of 2018.

AMR companies serving the Mississippi coast and several northern counties have also acquired the same new ambulance design.

Jim Brown, an AMR paramedic based in Jackson, said the new vehicles have several features which help the crew take care of the patient.

Brown said, “The patient’s head is better aligned with the paramedic’s seat right behind the top of the stretcher so it’s easier to monitor my patient’s condition and, if necessary, to provide advanced therapy such as inserting an oxygen tube into the patient’s airway. In general, everything is laid out so that supplies and equipment are right there in convenient reach.”

Mark Allen, AMR’s local lead mechanic, said many crews have said the new trucks have a smoother ride than older models.

Paramedic Brown likes the new trucks’ ride.  He said, “Definitely, the ride is smoother, especially on open roads.  On city streets, this suspension and smaller tires go over bumps more tolerably and out on interstates and four-lanes, these new trucks ride like a dream.  A softer ride helps reduce the patient’s anxiety and physical discomfort.  A steadier ride makes it easier for me to treat my patient.”

A particular change to the front of the truck is obvious:  The larger windshield and windows and sloped nose give the ambulance crew better visibility.

Brown said, “From inside the cab, you can see really well almost all the way around the truck.  It’s like riding in a bubble.  That enhances safety for everybody — our patient, the crew and everyone else on the road.”

Allen said the previous style of ambulance will be phased out over the next few years.

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