Timelapse reveals how a van is converted to an ambulance in 400 hours

Timelapse reveals how a van is converted to an ambulance in 400 hours

Another 56 new Fiat Ducato ambulances will be rolled out across the East Midlands to help save lives in 2020.

It takes an incredible 400 hours to build an EMAS vehicle from start to finish as this means taking a standard Fiat Ducato van and converting it into a highly specialised emergency ambulance.

Our ambulances are converted by Vehicle Conversion Specialists, who have created a timelapse for us to demonstrate in just three minutes what happens in their workshop in those 400 hours.

Steve Farnsworth, General Manager of Fleet at EMAS, said: “Our ambulances are our mobile hospitals – they are where our highly-skilled clinicians treat our patients in their hour of need, and sometimes where they save lives or deliver babies.

“Therefore, a lot of work goes into turning them from a van into a clinical space which can do everything our ambulance clinicians need it to do.  

“This includes installing electricity to support the technology we rely on, creating windows in the side panels, and of course fitting the blue lights, sirens and livery which makes it instantly recognisable as an ambulance.”

In 2019, we introduced 67 new ambulances to our fleet, which reduced the average age of our crewed ambulances to three years’ old and saw us replace the final Vauxhall Movano left in the fleet. 

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This new year, we will introduce 16 new A&E ambulances by April, and then another 40 in the summer and autumn. We will also be replacing 68 of our ambulance cars with brand new Skoda Octavia Scouts.

These new vehicles will help to reduce the pressure on the service as we will have more resources, and therefore enable us to reach those patients who need us more quickly.

We are very proud of our Fiat Ducatos – they were recently named as the best van conversion design in the country as part of an NHS Improvement evaluation day.

This design is full of innovative features such as trauma lighting, the pull-out draw-up surface, the standardisation of placement of medical equipment, the low centre of gravity and the smoothness of the ride.

Our van conversion is also around 20% cheaper to run than the average box conversion used by some other trusts.

The current model is the result of a lot of hard work by our Fleet team and frontline colleagues involved in developing the design.

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Following the announcement that EMAS will be the new provider of non-emergency patient transport services (PTS) in Chesterfield, we are also currently having 12 new PTS vehicles being built.

These will consist of six stretcher PTS vehicles and six seated PTS vehicles, and these new vehicles have all been built with improvements based on colleague feedback, including CCTV, climate control, and a revised wheelchair seat and wheelchair position when not in use.

The first two will be delivered next week and we hope to receive the majority of the other vehicles in January. These are to replace the temporary vehicles being used to help launch the contract.