1. #1
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    Default Question for people who know about emergency vehicle mechanics

    Hi all,

    Today is the big day. Our ambulance is being delivered. I'm looking for some advice as far as what we should do before we pay him. All the money from AFG is in our account.

    Definitely, I am going to drive it around up hills with about 5 heavy guys in the back to make sure it doesn't overheat. It was converted to 4x4, which added a lot of extra weight.

    I'm also going to check compliance with our specs.

    Anything else that we should do?

    Pics to come later.

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    no you pretty much have got it down. Compare it to your specs is exactly what you should do. As long as it conforms to your specs that is what matters. Hopefully the person that delivers it to you will go over the truck in every detail.

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    Sounds like you have the basics covered, just give it a good going over and look for any visible problems, have someone get under it and check for any leaks, and spray it down real good woith a water hose to check for any leaks on the conversion. Also a suggestion to have the rep to go over all basic operations of the conversion to make sure everyone understands the shifting, sounds simple, but the last one we got just had a button on the dash, no more shifter in the floor, and all have to be in neutral before we can shift to 4 wheel drive low range.

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    The most important thing you can do is pull out your specifications and do a Line-by-Line comparison of the vehicle to your specifications, which could take a couple of hours to do if done correctly. If it calls for a XXX engine with YYY horsepower and ZZZ pound-feet of torque, you better find the engine label and verify that it's correct. Do the same for the transmission, differentials, and other third-party parts on the vehicle.

    If you find a problem, you need to immediately identify the magnitude of the problem, and what impact it will have on the life of the vehicle. You might find it's something very small, and be able to live with it. However, you need to let the rep know that it's a discrepancy. If you find a major issue, you need to insist that it be fixed! The salesman won't be excited about your insistence, but if you're paying $175,000 for an ambulance, you better make sure it's the same ambulance that you ordered!

    Far too often, people will say, "well, we can live with that," when they find a problem, and they regret it for the life of the vehicle. Don't let the excitement of getting a new vehicle overshadow the fact that it's a long-term investment, and you need to make sure it's correct.

    Make sure that the salesman goes over all of the correct operating procedures with you and gives you all of the necessary paperwork.

    Don't be a department that goes ga-ga over the flashy lights and noisy siren without looking into the vehicle itself. Operate it, crawl in, over, and under it, and have someone in your department with a mechanical background look over it too.

    Best of luck with your new ride and congrats!
    Career Fire Captain
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    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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    Just as every one else has stated; give the vehicle a stem to stern, top to bottom check to make sure it meets the specs and there is no damage. Check the operational components as well, such as the AC, to make sure they work to your requirments. Give it a good road test hills, highway, streets and turning radius.

    Have them correct any issues minor or major that come up. Remember you hold all the cards; their money. Don't give them a dime unless it meets your 100% approval.

    And remember there is a higher authority watching over this as well; the AFG. 95% of the funding is from the feds, so everything needs to be above board and meeting the grant application as well.
    Last edited by onebugle; 07-12-2010 at 12:59 PM.

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    One last word of advice from experience with the problem.....

    If there is any specific lighting you requested on the vehicle don't just check to make sure they work, also don't just check to make sure the bulbs are the correct wattage but make sure the light assembly is the correct capacity.

    Out last purchase we had a lighting system of a certain wattage. The bulbs were correct and the lights were the correct in appearance but after blowing fuses or kicking breakers we found the wattage of the bulbs were correct but the light assemblies were lower than spec'ed causing overheating of the wiring.

    This did came to be not the fault of the manufacturer of the vehicle but was the fault of the vendor they received the lights from. Problem was corrected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by medstudent13 View Post
    Hi all,

    Today is the big day. Our ambulance is being delivered. I'm looking for some advice as far as what we should do before we pay him. All the money from AFG is in our account.

    Definitely, I am going to drive it around up hills with about 5 heavy guys in the back to make sure it doesn't overheat. It was converted to 4x4, which added a lot of extra weight.

    I'm also going to check compliance with our specs.

    Anything else that we should do?

    Pics to come later.
    Congrats Med: As everyone has said check the truck , top to bottom, front to back , inside & out and make sure everything works and is as specified in your RFP.
    I wouldn't worry as much about the 4 wheel drive system conversion as it is covered under the factory warrantee through Quigley and Ford. They are an authorized QVM up-fitter. Everything that is delivered is covered under warrantee through either the chassis or box manufacturer.

    Have a thorough look at everything and then get out your dancing shoes and do the happy dance!

    PS. Remember a 4 wheel drive type III will handle different than what you are used to. Spend some time getting all your drivers comfortable with it.
    Last edited by islandfire03; 07-12-2010 at 09:36 PM. Reason: added additional sentence

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    I would make sure you have a couple people go through the orientation with you. If you have one, the senior engineer or senior medic on each shift. That way you've got extra eyes and ears to remember everything and training everyone else.

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    medstudent,

    congrats on your award and quick delivery. Pictures??

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjcont View Post
    medstudent,

    congrats on your award and quick delivery. Pictures??
    Yes Congratulations med. Ditto on the pictures too.

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    Thanks everyone for the advice. Here is a pic. I took it out on its first ambulance run yesterday. It's a lot nicer than our old ambulance and definitely a lot safer.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Very Nice looking ambulance Med: Hope your service has many safe miles in it.
    Congrats again on your first attempt at grant writing. Your dept should be proud of you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by medstudent13 View Post
    Thanks everyone for the advice. Here is a pic. I took it out on its first ambulance run yesterday. It's a lot nicer than our old ambulance and definitely a lot safer.
    Congratulations!!! Sharp ride Medstudent. Bet you canít wait to try it out in the snow.
    Stay safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    Very Nice looking ambulance Med: Hope your service has many safe miles in it.
    Congrats again on your first attempt at grant writing. Your dept should be proud of you.
    Hey Ed. Hope you and the better half are doing good up there. I would say send us some of that cool air from up there but last week you all was hotter than us. The weather sure has been strange lately. The heat index in central Alabama today was 110. In about three minutes in the turnout gear you feel like a turkey in the oven at Thanksgiving.
    Stay safe.

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    Blue and White - SHARP!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfd701 View Post
    Hey Ed. Hope you and the better half are doing good up there. I would say send us some of that cool air from up there but last week you all was hotter than us. The weather sure has been strange lately. The heat index in central Alabama today was 110. In about three minutes in the turnout gear you feel like a turkey in the oven at Thanksgiving.
    Stay safe.
    It's been a lot warmer than normal for us, even here on the coast . We've hit 90 + several times already, which is very rare for the islands surrounded by the nice cool ocean. Thank goodness for the afternoon sea breezes which kick in with the tide change. Temps dropped 25 degrees in an hour one day from 90 to 65.
    It's 64 and cloudy this morning.

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    Good loookin' ride Medstudent. Congrats!

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    Good looking ride. Job well done medstudent.

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    Well done medstudent, success is sweet isn't it?
    Kurt Bradley
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    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Yes med congrats. It is a good looking ride and you should be very proud.

    NOW, as with new vessels, you and Dr. Sly should give it the personal & private commissioning' that all new vehicles/vessels should have. Anchor it in some private water, I mean park it some private area and give it a proper blessing. LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by jam24u View Post
    Yes med congrats. It is a good looking ride and you should be very proud.

    NOW, as with new vessels, you and Dr. Sly should give it the personal & private commissioning' that all new vehicles/vessels should have. Anchor it in some private water, I mean park it some private area and give it a proper blessing. LOL
    Jim is that kind of like the mile high club?

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