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10 Things You Didn't Know About Modern Ambulances

Ambulances as we know them today were very different in the past. Here are 10 things about modern ambulances you never knew

A mini hospital inside a vehicle is a very interesting concept, and thanks to the paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) inside them, even lifesaving. They were once operated by funeral homes, but before that, they were invented in ancient times always with the same purpose.

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Paramedics need to think outside the box that's within a box, and they sure know a lot. Here are some more things you didn’t know about modern ambulances.

10 Why is an ambulance called an ambulance?

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Ambulances’ have come a long way since they were first invented. A six horse-drawn ambulance carried equipment, picked up patients with the flu to now being motorized and fully equipped with medical devices and technology. Although the ambulance changed, the term never did. The meaning behind this word is simple.

The word “ambulance” is originally from a Latin word, “ambulare,” which means to walk or move about. This is a reference to lifting and wheeling around or otherwise known as a moving hospital.

9 It's Prepared for Anything

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What’s included in an ambulance? Well, everything an emergency room would have. Specifically, you can find cardiac monitors, needles, oxygen and five different stretchers. One of the main duties of ambulances is to transport patients to treatment facilities.

The other part is to assist anyone in a life-threatening emergency. They are ready to assist patients that have been in car crashes, heart attacks, burns and that’s just to name a limited amount.

8 Ambulance Or ecnalubma?

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You may not have noticed, but on the front of an ambulance is the word “ambulance” spelled backwards. This is to alert vehicles that are ahead to be aware of a driver, and so they can easily read the word from their rear-view mirrors, in case of an emergency.

Sometimes the sirens and size just aren’t enough, but always remember to move out of its way, stop on the side, and let it pass.

7 When In A Hurry...

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Since the 1800s, the importance of speed and arriving on time has always been part of the service. Every minute counts. Ambulances, just like any other vehicle on the road should be driving according to the speed limits whenever possible. Legally, they can exceed the limit by 15 KM/PH when in an emergency.

Although, the police department can provide permission to speed when needed. Yet, if an ambulance is driving recklessly or unsafely for any reason they can be pulled over, just like anybody else. Remember to leave a distance of about 500 feet if you notice them rushing.

6 Paying For The Ride

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The cost depends if you have health insurance or not, as well as the injury that is occurring. Once you enter you need to pay.

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You can be examined and then refuse the ride for no charge. You are paying for the services and help you’ve received, the transportation and the availability.

5 Are We There Yet?

You don’t necessarily need to be transported to the hospital, you can tell the paramedics where to take you, and if you are healthy enough for that there is no question about it.

However, this isn’t always the case. Some ambulances are assigned to stay in specific territories or “zones” and patients cannot be taken out of that region.

4 The Look

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The colour of an ambulance used to be white, but it has been changed to yellow to gain attention and become recognizable to anyone. The overall look of an ambulance can vary based on the province, state or general location they are driven in and the colours are a huge factor of that, they aren’t just to gain attention.

There are four types of standard ambulances on a truck chassis, the difference of each is the “box”. Also, they can come in many forms such as cars/vans, trains, trailers, and busses. Even on motorbikes and bicycles. They also can travel on water or in the air as helicopter, boat, or ship.

3 Teee Tooo (aka sounds of the ambulance)

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The sirens are turned on during a critical time. The noticeably loud sirens help bring awareness to the vehicle coming in fast. The cabin or the compartment of an ambulance isn’t soundproof, so the EMTs and paramedics can hear the sound of sires as loud and clear as those around it. Which is why they choose the sound they prefer, although, it isn’t in their ears.

As mentioned by Ross Cohen, an EMT “The siren speakers are in the front of the vehicle, on the outside, pointing away, toward the traffic ahead.” Depending on the symptoms the patient is going through, the sirens may be turned off. Pedestrians and other drivers should be able to hear them from 15 seconds away.

2 The Lights

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The lights used to be a combinate of red and white, and now they are red and blue to increase visibility while driving to the scene of an accident, as well as to avoid being hit while parked at the site. The flashing lights are bold up close, but not always seen right away from a distance. They will also help distinguish them as an emergency vehicle, rather than a snowplow.

If the lights are on but there are no sirens present, it means they are obeying the common traffic laws and aren’t in an emergency and there is no need for them to rush, or for you to move out of the way. This procedure isn’t often enforced because it confused motorists. You may have witnessed a green light before too. Those show that a volunteer ambulance service member is driving.

1 At The End Of An Ambulances’ Life, BEEEEEP

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Paramedics and EMT’s retire, but so do the vehicles they’ve driven. They usually last for about 17 years or until it has driven roughly 400,000 KM. The price of an ambulance ranges between $100,000 and $200, 000, and that also depends if it's fully equipped or not.

They can be bought used for as low as $6,000 on buy and sell sites, for small businesses to carry around tools and workers. Just don’t trick anybody. Also, they have to go to a special shop for any repairs though, so be prepared.

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