Nine new ambulances specially designed for the streets of London have been delivered to London Ambulance Service, with dozens more arriving in the next few months.
Replacing older vehicles in the fleet, the MAN ambulances were designed in consultation with frontline crews to ensure they are suitable for the demands of caring for patients in London.
More than 400 clinicians submitted ideas and suggestions for the new ambulances which were built in Germany by a manufacturer specialising in emergency vehicles.
Rob Macintosh, Head of Fleet at London Ambulance Service (LAS), said: “We worked with our ambulance crews to design a vehicle that is safe and reliable for both our patients and our people.
“We are really excited by the new ambulances which are more accessible and use a powered system to load the stretcher, which will make things easier for our crews.
“They are more energy efficient and digitally enabled for the future. They also have an asset management system that tracks our emergency equipment and notifies staff if anything is lost or needs replacing.”
The fully equipped ambulances cost £156,000 and will be paid for by internal capital and money LAS secured from commissioners.
A further 11 MAN ambulances and 112 ambulances have been ordered. All the new ambulances are lightweight, greener and more efficient than the Service’s current ambulances and meet the clean air zone targets in London, which are the most stringent in the country.
Because the MAN ambulances are the first of their kind in England, they have had to undergo rigorous evaluation by academics and ambulance experts.
Rob Macintosh inspected the vehicle against a 950 point check-list, then a team of professors from Loughborough University conducted an ergonomic evaluation to ensure the ambulances are safe, reliable and easy to use.
The ambulance has been crash-tested and its fuel consumption, emissions, brake-fading and handling also checked.
All the new ambulances are fitted with a Crew Safety System to help keep clinicians safe. The system includes video cameras, panic buttons and electronic tracking.
They will also contribute to the Service’s efforts to comply with the ultra-low emission zone in London and to reach its zero-emission goal by 2030. Meanwhile four fully electric ambulances are expected to be delivered to LAS later this year.
Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles said: “It’s very exciting to see the delivery of the next generation of ambulances – designed by us – which will help us respond to 999 calls across the capital.
“They are not only better for the environment and will help to alleviate air pollution, but will be safer and more comfortable for our crews and for the patients they care for.”
(Source and Images: London Ambulance Service)