EMS Tips Operations

Vehicle Safety Tips

Driving, as you know, is a primary component of being an EMS professional. I have been thinking a lot about driving, driver technique, and driver training recently. A few weeks ago Jim Love was our guest on the EMSEduCast podcast. Jim talked passionately about the difficulties and complexities of driver training. (listen to him on episode 48 of the EMSEduCast).

Also recently I was assigned a new vehicle during a paramedic shift. It was my first time driving this specific configuration of chassis, driver compartment, and patient care compartment. Driving this rig was much different than the Sprinter paramedic van I usually drive.

With those experiences on my mind I have been working on this list of vehicle safety tips. Please add your tips and ideas to the list.

  1. Drive and nothing else. No texting, radio calls, navigating, or phone calls.
  2. Look before exiting the vehicle … especially the patient compartment doors.
  3. Receive training in and follow traffic incident management guidelines for deploying signs, setting up cone tapers, using warning vehicles, parking blocking vehicles, and placement of rescue vehicles and ambulances.
  4. Choose a vehicle with a front compartment large enough to allow seats to move forward and back, recline during posting, and raise height for shorter drivers.
  5. Place radio and mobile data terminal equipment in positions that it is not a threat to drivers and front seat passengers.
  6. Secure all equipment in the patient care compartment – specifically the cardiac monitor, O2 bottle, and jumpkit.
  7. Wear your seatbelt.

Add your ideas in the comments area. Thanks.

The EMSEduCast – is the only podcast by and for EMS Educators. Listen and join the conversation if you are an educator, training officer, or preceptor.

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.