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At the Resource - NHSTA and Safercar for Emergency Vehicles

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At the Resource

NHSTA and for Emergency Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970 and is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. It works daily to help prevent crashes and their attendant costs, both human and financial.

Doing a simple search “emergency vehicles” from the upper right corner of their home page you will find this organization also offers almost 1500 articles, many in PDF format that can be downloaded free. They offer a wide range of subject topics such as “Safety of Approaching a Stationary Emergency Vehicle when on a scene.

Another example: “Interim Guidance for Electric and Hybrid-Electric Vehicles Equipped with High Voltage Batteries” this information is designed for Law Enforcement/Emergency Medical Services/Fire Departments. This is a single page reference that could be added to any first responder’s operation or training binder as a quick reference. They also offer a search within a search making it easier for you to find a sub-topic easier.

Vehicle safety is of the utmost importance for everyone; especially first responder as they travel to and from any emergency site. It does not matter whether it is a call in a busy town or city or off a rural country road. Vehicle failure is never convenient. Failure while on a response call is unacceptable and could endanger not only the crew; it could endanger the lives of patients, and vehicles around them.

NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has the forms and tools to help the First Responder workforce easily report defects, problems, or issues with emergency response vehicles that may reduce vehicle safety and endanger lives. The website handles complaint filings, and offers data on service bulletins; safety recalls and previously reported concerns and complaints that may have already been filed. By comparison with all other types of vehicles, there are very few First Responder emergency vehicles on the road. This makes any and all reported information extremely valuable to the NHTSA’S ODI to insure First Responder’s are always as safe as possible. It is crucial that possible defects for emergency vehicles be reported so that they may be investigated. Always report any vehicle safety defects. It is confidential and easy to do online.

In August of 2007 NHTSA investigated an ambulance manufacturer after receiving information that there was a problem with manufacturer’s vehicles resulting in the loss of electric power to the interior/exterior/emergency warning lights and equipment in the patient area. NHTSA’s investigation resulted in the ambulance manufacturer recalling and correcting 1,006 vehicles after finding a corrosion condition occurring on a 400-amp fuse due to the exposure to calcium Chloride elements.

How To Report a Safety Complaint

Email portable, online, and Telephone complaint formats are available at the site listed below.

Your information will be entered into a NHSTA-ODI database and used with other complaints to determine if a safety related trend exists.

   •   The manufacturer is responsible for the recall cost

   •   Complaints are based on severity and not the number of complaints for review.

Click here to go back to the list of issues.