Hello all-

I am looking for some advice and direction here. I checked EMSResponder forum but there were very few posts/topics. Anyways, I am for the first time going to be on our Ambulance build committee. I am looking for some advice on what to look for, what to avoid, and some commonly overlooked items when building/specing an ambulance. I am working with about 5 other people on this, and combined we have alot of years of EMS experience. Here's a little background on our department/myself:

-I have been an EMT-B since January of 07 and plan on taking my medic class this fall
-Our department ran last year about 1000 calls.
-We have ~50 PPC(paid per call) personnel and 6 FT contract PM's along with a POC crew which runs the 2nd ambulance, along with a Chief, Deputy Chief, and Assistant Chief.
-We are out of Kendall county in Illinois, which has the normal seaons...sometimes rough winters and hot summers
-Currently we have 3 stations, two have FT ambulances and one has a reserve.(so total of 3 ambulances).
-We have 3 Ford E series ambulances, built by Road Rescue
-Every three years we replace the oldest ambulance

That all being said, other departments around us run the International series ambulance. One department utilizes the Ford F-series. I have heard some people say the Internationals are more suited for Colorado or moutainous states, not Illinois. I have heard rumor that our EMS coordinator would like to get the GMC Topkick chassis. I am basically looking for some pros/cons of some of the commonly used platforms, things to avoid, and things that get overlooked. I plan on working as a Paramedic as soon as I get my license, as I have been working as an EMT-B and love it! Any and all advise will be greatly appreciated!