Two new CCH ambulances will be seen, heard — and felt

State-of-the-art vehicles have 'Howler' low-frequency siren
Apr. 29, 2013 @ 04:28 PM

With Central Carolina Hospital's recent purchase of two new ambulances, drivers will not only see and hear emergency service vehicles — they will also feel them.

Two ambulances, with a variety of state-of-the-art features, joined the CCH Emergency Medical Service fleet this past week, said EMS Director Jonathan Kelly.

Along with the traditional sirens, the new ambulances will also have a deep, low frequency tone siren known as the Howler, Kelly said.

"It is an added layer of warning for intersections and high-risk areas," he said. "... Low frequency tones have the distinct advantage of penetrating solid materials, enabling vehicle operators and nearby pedestrians to feel the sound waves."

CCH CEO Doug Doris said he was very pleased and excited to add the new ambulances to the hospital's fleet.

"These new ambulances have many added safety features that will  benefit our patients, the drivers, the emergency personnel providing care and the community sharing the road with them,” Doris said.

He added, "We have been in the process of getting these new ambulances for about four months. They are replacing a couple of ambulances that have been in service for about four or five years, and we are very excited to have these new ambulances with the new technology."

The vehicles that were replaced by the new ambulances were constantly in the shop for maintenance, Kelly said, and EMS should be able to cut down on the department's maintenance cost with the new additions. The ambulances, costing $140,000 each, were manufactured by American Emergency Vehicles in Jefferson, N.C., he said.

"We know it is going to reduce the time they are in the shop so they can be out on the streets more," Kelly said. "Our staff is also very appreciative of the new vehicles."

These are also the first gas units in the EMS fleet, which should also save the hospital on fuel and maintenance costs, Kelly said. The other eight vehicles in the fleet run on diesel.

Other vehicle features include:

* Electronic data entry terminals and mobile GPS mapping.

* Automatic oxygen tank loaders — this will reduce the chance of staff injury when changing out the main oxygen cylinders on the side of the trucks, Kelly said.

* High-intensity lights, known as GoLights, mounted on the roof with remote control inside to locate house numbers and illuminate scenes. 

* Full reflective stripping on the rear of the ambulances for increased visibility.

* Safety restraints to secure EMS staff while treating patients during transport.

* Internet modem with hot-spot capabilities.

* Child safety seat.