Ambulance emergency response vehicle

Ambulance emergency response car, built on a Volvo V70 in Sweden

An ambulance emergency response vehicle is a vehicle operated by an emergency medical service to respond to medical emergencies either in addition to, or in place of, an ambulance capable of transporting patients.

They can also be known as a fly car, echo unit, rapid response vehicle (RRV), quick response vehicle (QRV), quick response service (QRS), emergency response unit (ERU), medic-car, paramedic chase car, fast response unit (FRU), tango unit or simply an ambulance car (PRU) Paramedic Response Unit.

Emergency response vehicles can be used to reach a scene more quickly than a standard ambulance, as they may be able to move through traffic with greater ease, or travel at greater speed, to bring additional or more skilled resource to a scene, or to simply to avoid sending too much resource to medical problems that do not require it.

The vehicle may be a production car (often a station wagon or SUV as they have greater carrying capacity) which is provided and manned by an emergency medical service organization in order to provide transport to their staff. The fly-car enables the crew (often a lone responder) to bring their equipment quickly to the scene of an emergency, and may carry most of the same equipment as a full size ambulance, although it is likely to be limited in its capacity to transport patients.

Contents

Purpose

Emergency medical vehicle, built in a Renault Scenic, in Portugal.

An emergency response vehicle can help emergency medical organizations use their resources more efficiently, sending this smaller vehicle to the scene of an emergency call, where they can assess an incident's severity (especially where there is reason to suspect the injury or illness is not serious) and call in additional help if required. Trisha Ecklund writes that the qrv is smaller than an ambulance so it can maneuver to places at a quicker pace.[citation needed]

Such vehicles can also provide first aid assistance for patients who do not require hospital treatment, and can be treated at the scene by the crew on site (such as cuts and bruises to non-dangerous body areas), which saves conventional ambulances for other, more urgent jobs.

This can represent a resource saving on several levels, with most fly-cars costing much less than full size ambulances, and because they can often be staffed by a single person (ambulances require a minimum of two crew members: a driver and an attendant).

Fly-cars can also be used to improve response times. This especially applies in areas such as busy roads, where the smaller vehicles are able to move through traffic faster than a full size ambulance. Some fly-cars may also have off-road capabilities, giving them access to areas that traditional ambulances cannot reach.

Other uses for fly cars include work as a "supervisor" vehicle where an officer or supervisor responds to various calls but does not ride on the ambulance to the hospital. This principle especially applies where the fly-car is crewed by a paramedic, who can assist lower qualified staff, such as emergency medical technicians on an ambulance, meaning fewer people at the higher qualification level are required. However, dependent on the jurisdiction and needs of the individual service, any level of emergency medical provider from first responder to doctor can be found on fly-cars.

Examples

Emergency physician rapid response car in Graz, Austria

Several European countries, such as Germany and Austria, with physician-led emergency services, there are Emergency Physician Rapid Response Cars (in German called NEF from NotarztEinsatzFahrzeug - Notarzt = Emergency Physician, Einsatz = Mission, Fahrzeug = Vehicle), staffed with at least an emergency physician and a paramedic.

A Swedish akutbil in Stockholm, Sweden

In the Swedish medical system, a fly-car (akutbil) can be equipped with a nurse specialized in anesthesia who is specialized in pain management, paired together with a paramedic. Fly-cars can be staffed around the clock or during the busiest hours of the day and week in order to augment the capacity of the prehospital care provider and can respond both independently and in conjunction with one or more ambulances, air ambulance(s) and other emergency services. As a result of new legislation requiring all ambulances to be equipped with at least one trained nurse, fly-cars have become less common[1][2].

A well-known example of a fly-car in the United States is Squad 51 from the 1970s era television series, "Emergency".

Squad 51 1972 Dodge D-300 Emergency!

Photo gallery

Footnotes

  1. ^ http://www.ambulansforum.se/PAM/artiklar/99/akutbilsthlm.shtml (Swedish)
  2. ^ http://www.blaljus.se/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1138&sid=b4fd069447d4ac233cec8f50157cdb35 (Swedish)


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