Do people really bang on the ambulance door?

On TV and in the movies, you see this all the time: Someone is loaded into an ambulance, the doors are closed, and the person outside bangs on the door a couple times to signal the driver is good to go.

Does that really happen?

Probably, as long as they signal the driver in some other way also. It would be stupid for the driver to take off just because some banged on the back on the back door of the ambulance.

SOP everywhere I know.

It doesn’t mean “GO!”
2 hard knocks means the door is shut. How quickly the driver leaves is up to him.

Don’t they still need to wait for the banger to get into the vehicle?

Internal bangers just say “go”, but external bangers “bang”, then retreat so they don’t get mashed into gravy by the tyres.

mmmmm… bangers and mash.

I do it with taxis. But that’s probably just life immitating art.

Not just ambulances. Same with taxis, vans, etc. Quite common in real life in my experience.

It might not be an EMT closing the door. It might be, say, a cop or firefighter that was on the scene shutting the door and tapping the back a few times as a way of saying “The doors are closed and I’m clear of the rig, you won’t hit me, I’m not standing on the back etc”

In the 2 departments I served, the ambulance left when the senior crewmember said go. The only time banging on the side was done was my first and very rural department, where it was common to drop off a member at home or a parked vehicle after a run. Never when we had a patient loaded.

Everyone should do it everywhere. Getting off a bus, baggage handlers to airliners, conductors to trains, the guy left behind on Mars.

I can’t speak for banging on the door, but I personally know someone who has banged on an ambulance gurney. I assume the doors were closed.

Back in the days of coin operated slots the bartenders would rap twice on the bar with a coin when a transaction was completed. I knew a retired truckdriver who would assist his wife into a friends car and tap twice on the door to indicate the activity was completed.

I don’t remember meeting you?

Okay you two, get an ambulance.

Wait… What was that about a patient on a Guernsey?

(Sorry. Missed the opportunity for a banger joke, so I have to milk anything I can.)

Hey it worked on Fractalus.

My experience was that the door slap indicated the door was closed and properly latched. Only the EMT in the back of the rig working on the patient could tell the driver when it was time to go.

Buses in South America work the same way. The conductor bangs on the side of the bus when the passengers and livestock have all been squeezed on.

I’ve seen this on some nonair-conditioned Thai buses but not often enough that it seemed standard practice. More like individual initiative. And even then, never just the banging alone. It’s always accompanied by a shout-out.