While at a recent emergency services exhibit, I noticed one of the most interesting ambulance designs...
This ambulance from the Premier Line was set up for a side loading gurney. Rather than the traditional rear load, this ambulance has two side doors and can load the gurney from each side. The patient rides across the width of the vehicle while the crew is seated in either front or rear facing seats. You can check out the full description on the North Eastern Rescue Vehicles site...click here.
Below are a few shots I took of this ambulance as well as a few video clips from the NHTSA. I don't have any proof or test data that shows this side load configuration is any safer than the tradition design, but after watching the videos...I'll try anything. I'd be interested to hear what you think.
This is the passenger side of the ambulance. Notice that the crew member is in a forward facing seat.
Again, from the passenger side; notice the sliding door on the drivers side and the gurney loading track in the middle.
These video clips are from YouTube...certainly something to think about!