September 1, 2023

What to Look for in a Type II Ambulance 

Ambulances serve three different but equally important functions: delivering people from one location to another, enabling the work of EMTs,…

Ambulances serve three different but equally important functions: delivering people from one location to another, enabling the work of EMTs, and providing comfort to the patients within their care. If a private ambulance company fails to deliver on just one of these things, it could mean the difference between profit and loss — or even life and death. 

Companies and fleet managers in the market for a Type 2 ambulance — that is, an ambulance built on a van chassis — need a vehicle that will fulfill all use cases. Here are the top things to consider when purchasing one. 

Low Operational Costs 

Keeping total cost of ownership low is essential for private ambulance companies. This is where Type 2 ambulances excel, particularly the ones manufactured by FR.  

FR’s Type 2 ambulances cost 40 cents less per mile to operate versus competitor vehicles. The company builds on the Ram ProMaster and Ford Transit, and packs them with cost-saving features during the conversion process.  

One important feature is an advanced HVAC system that continues to heat or cool the vehicle for up to 20 minutes after the ignition is switched off. This is important since ambulances can burn up to a gallon of gasoline per hour while idling. 

Another key characteristic of FR’s Type 2 ambulances is the intelligent oxygen system, which automatically shuts off after 8 minutes of non-use. Incidental wasting of oxygen, called “O2 bleed,” is a big cost driver. By preventing such waste, FR can save companies approximately a tank swap of oxygen per week. 

Additionally, FR’s Ram ProMaster models — the Pioneer and Pioneer II Elite — have a best-in-class turning radius of 36 feet, which is comparable to that of a Toyota Corolla. Better handling through congested streets means quicker trips, allowing operators to complete more runs per day. 

High Safety Standards 

Even more important than ambulance cost savings is the health and wellbeing of everyone inside the vehicle, including the emergency medical technicians who spend long hours on the job. 

“It’s very hazardous to work in an ambulance,” explains Michael Dumais, National Sales Manager at FR. Alluding to study listed in the National Library of Medicine, Michael says “there’s about 12.7 deaths per 100,000 [EMS] workers,” which is nearly three times the national average for other professions. 

With this in mind, it’s very important to choose an ambulance that’s been engineered to the highest degree of safety both inside and out. Customers should seek an ambulance that adheres to established ambulance safety standards like Triple K and CAAS, as do all the vehicles FR produces. 

The type of testing ambulances undergo is also key. Whereas most companies pull test their vehicles, FR Conversions differentiates itself by crash testing its ambulances. 

FR Conversions also understands that, during a crash, medical supplies become projectiles that can cause injuries. That’s why FR equips its ambulances with some of the most spacious cabinets in the industry. Polycarbonate impact doors rated to 80 pounds per square inch keep items inside secured. 

Intuitive Interior Features 

It’s critical that customers assess the interior of an ambulance from the perspective of both the EMT and the patient. This means looking for features that not only keep those who are being treated comfortable but also ones that make medical professionals’ jobs easier. 

For instance, FR Conversions’ ambulances offer a workstation at the command station as well as a standing desk. All vehicles have at least eight 110-volt electrical outlets plus a 3,000-watt full sine wave inverter capable of powering a variety of equipment including high-end laptops.  

FR’s ProMaster Pioneer II ambulances offer more than 6 feet of head room, allowing personnel to stand as they care for a patient opposed to hunching over. Getting in and out of the vehicle is also easier and safer; upgraded driver- and passenger-side running boards with etched diamond treads and a generous flip-up bumper prevent slips. 

FR also incorporates features to maximize patient comfort. A three-way lighting system allows EMTs to dim the cabin when bright working light isn’t needed. FR’s Pioneer II Elite model has space for a secondary oxygen supply for use in longer trips and also includes an expansive working area capable of accommodating bariatric patients. 

A Dependable Conversion Company 

Perhaps the most important thing to look for in a Type 2 ambulance is that it’s been built by a trusted conversion company. For over a decade, FR Conversions has been pioneering the production of safe, dependable, and cost-effective Type 2 van ambulances — developing a vertically-integrated assembly process that incorporates the maximum amount of original equipment manufacturer parts.

Contact us today to learn more. 

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