What’s Inside an Ambulance?: A Guide to Ambulance Equipment

Did you know that the average ambulance went on 2,408 EMS calls per year? With thousands of ambulance companies out there, it is safe to assume that people get the necessary use out of them.

If you’ve never been inside an ambulance, you may be curious to know what equipment they carry. Read on to learn about common ambulance equipment and how it can help patients.

Jump Bag

Ambulance equipment actually goes inside of a jump bad. For instance, you can find medical supplies in a jump bag such as trauma kits and basic life support. At the emergency scene, paramedics will grab these items first.

Although basic items, the things inside a jump bag are just as important. It acts much like a first aid kit that is more complex.

Bag Valve Mask (BVM)

A bag valve mask (BVM) is a crucial piece of pre-hospital equipment. An EMT will use this on someone who is struggling to breathe. The BVM helps bring a steady flow of oxygen to the lungs.

The BVM is connected to a mask that gets placed over the mouth to provide ventilation. An ambulance will have a variety of these masks to ensure they have one to fit every individual’s nose and mouth.

Suction Unit

A suction unit is another one of the ambulance medical supplies that can help someone with breathing. If breathing difficulties occur because fluid is blocking the airway, a suction tube is used to remove it.

Spinal/Trauma Board

A spinal/trauma board is used for those with a possible spinal injury or bone dislocation. The board will keep the spine in line while inside the ambulance.

To get a person on this flat, non-padded board, EMTs use a stretcher. If necessary, the paramedic may also use a head immobilizer to support the neck and head of a person while on the spinal board.

Cervical Collar

A cervical collar is also used if there is a suspected head or neck injury. This neck brace will keep the neck and head in place to minimize movement and help avoid long-term damage.

Medication Bag

If you didn’t already know, paramedics carry a bag full of pain-relieving and even life-saving medications. Medications can stay organized in this lightweight bag and may include the following:

  • Anesthetic
  • Intravenous
  • Anti-seizure medication
  • Adrenaline
  • Salbutamol
  • Nitroglycerin

The different medications are for relieving pain, treating shock, reversing low blood pressure, opening up the airways to the lungs, and more.

ECG Monitor and Defibrillator

If an ambulance is called because of chest pain and fear of heart attack, the EMT can use the electrocardiograph (ECG) monitor to check the rhythm of the heart.

If the heart is not beating correctly, the paramedic will use a defibrillator to bring heart pulses back to normal. These are generally attached to the ECG monitor.

EMTs may also use a defibrillator mount which you can learn more about here.

Ambulance Equipment You Should Know About

Every ambulance will have the right equipment to treat a variety of issues. Although there is more ambulance equipment than what is detailed in this guide, these pieces are some of the most common things that patients need.

Knowing what is inside an ambulance can give you peace of mind if you ever need to call one for yourself or a loved one. They have the tools necessary to take care of you.

For more articles that can teach you new things, check out the other posts on our blog.