3.22.01 Vehicle Operation
3.22.01 Vehicle Operation (Revised 10/2020)
Only approved Amerimed associates should operate company-owned vehicles. New associates should complete a company sponsored driving course as required by management. Associates should be aware that their personal driver’s license is at risk while driving personal or commercial vehicles.
All associates must report any changes to their Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) when they occur. Amerimed will make a determination based upon current insurance carrier requirements as to their eligibility. Management will periodically evaluate associates’ MVR for validity, accuracy, and compliance with policy.
Associates will not use tobacco products in company-owned vehicles. Food and drinks are not allowed in the patient compartment of ambulances. Drinks in the cab will be in spill-proof containers.
Cellular phones should not be used while operating a company-owned vehicle. Cellular phones may only be used during patient transport to contact Amerimed and/or receiving facility if two-way radio contact is unavailable.
Vehicle engines should not be left running except when climate requires otherwise. Amerimed associates should follow guidelines of specific facilities about parking and/or leaving engines running.
Vehicles should be locked up when unoccupied and/or out of sight range of associates. The keys to the unit must be with both crew members. In the event of a lock-out there is a spare key located on the unit . The computer-coded ignition key is wired to the steering column, do not remove it.
All traffic laws and parking requirements should be adhered to unless engaged in emergency mode.
Drivers should allow at least four (4) seconds of following distance from the vehicle directly in front of them.
Fines for red signal violations other than those occurring while on emergency requests will be the responsibility of the Amerimed associate driving when the violation occurred.
If a company-owned vehicle is involved in an accident, management should be notified immediately. Law enforcement and other public safety personnel will be notified as needed by Amerimed Customer Service/Communications.
An incident report should be filed with specifics of the accident including date, time, location, crew members, injuries, witnesses, and any other pertinent details.
Damage to company-owned vehicles resulting from violation of this policy or negligent action will be subject to disciplinary action and the crew may be held financially responsible. See 1.03.09 Counseling & Disciplinary Action
SEAT BELTS MUST BE WORN by all people, including family members, Amerimed associates and other healthcare providers, at all times when vehicle is in motion. If patient care requires the attendant to remove his/her seatbelt, it should only be removed for the duration while such treatment is being provided.
Patients are required to be restrained to the stretcher with all seatbelts, including shoulder harnesses, whenever vehicle is in motion. Every effort will be made for the patient to be transported on the EMS stretcher unless extenuating circumstances exist.
Infants shall be restrained at all times, while in Amerimed vehicles. This may be accomplished by utilizing stretcher and straps, pediatric immobilization device, or infant car seat if available.
According to most States’ Official Code relating to emergency vehicles you may proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after stopping, then proceeding with caution to destination in a safe manner. Emergency vehicles shall always be operated with due regard for other motorist.
When responding or transporting in an emergency mode, emergency lights and siren(s) must be utilized together at all times, as required by Georgia Law.
No ambulance will pass a school bus while the bus is stopped and has its “red” signals and “stop” sign displayed. No unit shall be driven the wrong way on a one way street, road, or ramp.
Emergency lights and siren(s) should be turned off after arrival at private residence unless used as a landmark.
Emergency warning equipment should not be used in an industrial park until reaching the main road prior to initiating emergency response if responding from an Amerimed station located in an industrial park unless traffic requires otherwise.
Accidents that happen while in reverse mode are the most frequent and most preventable accidents in our industry. If possible, you should avoid driving in reverse mode by positioning the vehicle so that does not have to be backed out (ie… when parking at a store or business). You should park distant and in such a way that you can maneuver driving forwards.
When pulling up to the hospital ramps while patient-loaded, pull in nose first, and use your partner as a spotter when you leave. This means when an EMS vehicle is backed, one of the crew members should be out of the vehicle, on the ground, and always in view of the driver’s side mirror to assist in the safe operation of the vehicle. If patient loaded, the attendant should “spot” from the rear door inside the vehicle.
If a crew member is not available to assist in backing, the driver should ask for assistance from other public safety personnel.
Despite proper maintenance of Amerimed vehicles, “breakdowns” will occur periodically.
Vehicles experiencing operational issues should be reported immediately. Do not continue to operate a vehicle with a mechanical problem.
If a vehicle problem occurs, notify the Amerimed Communications/Customer Service center immediately. The unit will be classified as “out of service” and transport requests will be reassigned as necessary.
Field personnel should be prepared to advise location, nature of problem, and if patient loaded, patient status.
Field personnel should not attempt to repair the unit or call directly for wrecker service. Units that are patient loaded should continue patient care until relief unit arrives.
The Amerimed Shift Commander will be notified and directions will be provided on how to proceed. Other vehicle maintenance issues should be documented on the Daily Unit Checklist.