New Ambulance Standards Published

By Chief Joe Maruca, NVFC Massachusetts Alternate Director
NFPA 1917: Standard for Automotive Ambulances has been officially approved and published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The standard applies to new ambulances contracted for on or after January 1, 2013. The standard defines the requirements for new automotive ambulances designed to be used under emergency conditions to provide medical treatment and transportation of sick or injured people to appropriate medical facilities. It does not cover vehicles used solely to transport emergency medical care personnel that do not have patient transport capability, aircraft or water craft used for patient transport under emergency conditions, or mobile patient care vehicles that do not provide patient transport under emergency conditions.
This standard was drafted over the past three years by a Technical Committee consisting of 32 members and 16 alternate members. The membership of the Technical Committee consisted of seven members from the fire service, nine vehicle manufacturers, five EMS organizations/ambulance companies and representatives from the National Association of State EMS Officials, insurance industry, NIOSH, Homeland Security, UL, and engineering groups. The Technical Committee will spend the next three years reviewing feedback about the standard and developing a revision for 2015. The Technical Committee meetings are all public, and public comment plays a major role in the process.
You can read NFPA 1917 at
Chief Joe Maruca is the principal representative of the National Volunteer Fire Council on the 32-member NFPA Technical Committee that wrote NFPA 1917. This article originally appeared in Smoke Showin’, a publication of the Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Firefighters’ Association.