An inside look at one of Woodstock's Ambulances
Every Wednesday night is crew four’s shift on
Woodstock Ambulance. My crew and I are on from 6pm until Thursday at 6am. We
have three trucks to choose from but on our night we work out of the main station
and whatever ambulance is there. The other trucks are used when the primary
crew is out. There are two ambulances at our main station. Tonight it’s A1 and
A2. A2 is our 4 wheel drive ambulance used when road conditions are less than
A look at the back compartment of A1
Each rig has several first in bags that need to be checked including a basic life support bag, an advanced life support bag, and a pediatric bag. The BLS kit is the main bag used on every call. It contains a blood pressure cuff, a stethoscope, pulse oximeter, and a glucometer. There is an oxygen tank, which is inspected to insure that it is full, and various devices for oxygen administration. The kit also contains a variety of basic airway adjuncts to help protect a patient’s airway. There are also bandages and splints for stabilizing injuries. The advanced kit contains a variety of medications, IV supplies, syringes, and more advanced airways. The pediatric bag contains equipment designed for use with younger patients.
ALS, BLS, and pediatric bags
After the bags are back together, the other oxygen tanks on board need to be checked. There are two large main tanks which supply oxygen to the vents throughout the compartment, and a small tank on the back of the stretcher. The cabinets should be stocked and supplies not expired. Most everything in an ambulance has an expiration date which makes it important to double check the cabinets. Airway devices are near the head of the stretcher for easy access. Medications are in a separate cabinet, along with IV supplies, and splinting equipment. Everything is labeled because EMTs love labels.
Some of our equipment, like the monitor, is battery powered. It has two batteries that should be fully charged. Our life pack can monitor a patients’ blood pressure, pulse, oxygenation level, end tidal CO2, and can capture a 12 lead EKG. It can also be used as a defibrillator. Our stretcher has a battery that allows it to raise a patient with the touch of a button and is a life saver on all of our backs. A portable suction machine also has a battery that needs to be checked.
The trucks get a quick hose down if they’re dirty to get them ready for a night of service.