I’m sitting in a new Sprinter ambulance — one of those tall thin ambulances that have been popping up in the last couple years. We have just one in our Fleet and this is the first time I’ve been in it. This morning when my partner and I checked under the hood as part of our checklist, we found the radiator was bone dry. Hooray for checklists! Unfortunately, the city was going nuts and we needed to get out on the road so the supervisor tossed us the keys to the Sprinter and I grabbed my gear out of the now off-line regular ambulance and put it in the open side door of the Sprinter, shut it and then we took off for the priority one call that turned out to be a routine sick call.
When we pulled up, we both jumped out and did near identical tumbles as the Sprinter is much higher up than a regular ambulance and you need to account for that when disembarking. We were lucky it was just a routine call as neither of us could immediately figure out how to get the side and back doors open. You learn something new everyday. I know now that the best way to mount the new beast is to step up with your right foot, grab hold of the hook above the door and pull yourself up and across into your seat.
There are some nice things about the Sprinter – I love the panoramic vista of the large windows. And standing up in the back was a great experience, very easy to get the controlled substances out of the lock boxes in the cabinet as well. I have also heard they are safer than the standard ambulance.
The leg room was great, but still by the end of the day, my lower back was hurting from not being able to get the seat at the right angle. The last challenge for the day was finding the gas cap, which I finally found in the doorway behind the diver’s seat through a process of simple deduction.