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Ambulance Design Survey 2011: A Summary Report



Yung-Tsun T. Lee, Deogratias Kibira, Allison Barnard Feeney, Jennifer L. Marshall


Current ambulance designs are ergonomically inefficient and often times unsafe for practical treatment response to medical emergencies. Thus, the patient compartment of a moving ambulance is a hazardous working environment. As a consequence, emergency medical services (EMS) workers suffer fatalities and injuries that far exceed those of the average work place in the United States. To reduce injury and mortality rates in ambulances, the Department of Homeland Security has teamed with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and BMT Designers and Planners in a joint project to produce science-based ambulance patient compartment design standards. This project will develop new crash-safety design standards and improved user-design interface guidance for patient compartments that are safer for EMS personnel and patients, and facilitate improved patient care. The project team has been working with practitioners, EMS workers’ organizations, and manufacturers to solicit needs and requirements to address related issues. This paper presents an analysis of practitioners’ concerns, needs, and requirements for improved designs elicited through the web-based survey of ambulance design, held by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This paper also introduces the survey, analyzes the survey results, and discusses recommendations for future ambulance patient compartments design.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


ambulance, design, emergency medical services (EMS), emergency medical technician (EMT), modeling and simulation, patient compartment, performance, safety, standard


Lee, Y. , Kibira, D. , Barnard, A. and Marshall, J. (2014), Ambulance Design Survey 2011: A Summary Report, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created January 15, 2014, Updated February 19, 2017