EMS: Stolen Ambulances

A headline in Amarillo, TX, screams, “Catastrophic Ambulance Collision Lawsuit Settled for $12.5 Million.” Here’s the story behind that headline: A woman was admitted to Northwest Texas Hospital for a psychological evaluation. Despite diagnoses of...


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Some fire departments have put mechanisms in place to prevent ambulances from being stolen. In the Memphis, TN, Fire Department, for example, a small hidden toggle switch is slipped when a driver leaves an ambulance unattended and idling. If the ambulance is put in gear or someone steps on the brake without flipping the switch in the right direction, the ambulance dies. Some services use key fobs, door locks or proximity keys to keep ambulances from being stolen.

A stolen ambulance is not a trivial matter. Besides potential monetary loss, there is the potential for loss of life or the use of an ambulance for a terrorist event. n