What happens if an Ambulance gets into a crash?

An ambulance going to a serious situation? Say someone had a heart attack, and the ambulance is nearing the place. They pull into an intersection and hit the tail end of a car, doing serious damage, yet leaving the ambulance drivable. Surely they don’t stop and leave a note do they? What happens in these situations?

I imagine that they could simply have the dispatch center send a cop to the scene and take care of it.

Here I opened this thread all ready to tell about the time Mr. S helped at the scene when an ambulance (already carrying an injured person!) collided with another car on the highway and came flipping over and over toward us, stopping a few car lengths away.

But you didn’t ask about that.

Anyone have any stories about stopping to help out an ambulance (already carrying an injured person, of course) that had collided with a car and flipped over?

Generally speaking, if the ambulance is en route to a call, another ambulance will be dispatched and that ambulance will stay at the crash scene.

If the ambulance is transporting a patient, the crew has some discretion on what to do. Our policy is that if it’s a non-emergent transport, we’ll call in another ambulance to complete the transport and stay on scene. If it’s an emergent transport, it’s the medic’s discretion to call another ambulance or to complete the transport. If the crew leaves the crash scene, the supervisor will head there and the crew will return after they’ve turned over patient care to the hospital.

St. Urho
Paramedic

Is that always the case en-route? What about if the guy is having a heart attack, it’s taken you ten minutes to get there, and you are a block away? Then it’s gonna be another ten minutes for another ambulance?

Here is a sample policy: http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/ems/policy/01-07.htm

and another: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cava/SOP.pdf (pdf p. 12)

Well, that’s where the discretion comes in. I’d go to the hospital.

Now everyone in the office is looking at me oddly, wondering what’s so funny about the policy I’m working on!

Happens all the time. The problem is high-speed driving is very dangerous. Often one ambulance with the siren on will hit another ambulance with its siren on. Neither hears the other.

A good driver takes his time.

Ambulance crash log: http://www.emsnetwork.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/search.cgi?cat=13&template=index%2Fdefaultambo.html&perpage=10&start=1