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  • Ambulance pre-meditated theft...

    Just heard on the evening news...I think it was in Lowell, MA. No links up yet at Channel 5 or Goggle News...

    Trinity Ambulance service was called to the hospital to perform a transport.

    And the ambulance was stolen from the parking lot.

    Which isn't unusual since stolen ambulances happen from time to time...

    The big difference is the call for the transport was a hoax. The working assumption is the thief is the one who called it in.

    A couple hours earlier if I heard the story right (or later?) another Trinity Ambulance had been called to another hospital for another hoax transport. That hospital had a mandatory turn-off-your-ambulance policy and the crew had taken the key with them...so the suspicion is that call was another theft attempt.

  • #2
    Is it common practice to leave them run at some hospitals? Around here the ER staff get all worked up if somebody is smoking a cigarette outside. I imagine they would come unglued if 4 ambulances were out there stinking up the place.

    Birken

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    • #3
      at our local hospital, when you park- even when you back in to the ER, you must turn off your ambulance. then you have to turn it on, park, and turn it off.
      First in, Last out, nobody left behind.....

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      • #4
        Depends.

        Our ambulances have an anti-theft so you can take the key with you and rig stays running until someone taps the brake pedal.

        Local hospital asks for them to be shut-off. 95% of the time I did...but in extremely hot or cold/icy weather I'd leave it running (key removed). Personally I'd prefer to leave them running as I think it's easier on the electrical system then running off batteries while unloading / restocking.

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        • #5
          Well........

          Our Ambulance does not have a method of leaving the Unit running, except to leave the key in place, (typical Ford E series) so we turn it off and take the key. Personal opinion, I wanted to steal an Ambulance, I'd call in a False Alarm at a WalMart or a Mall where it would be more common for the vehicle to be left running. Hospitals down this way have security cameras at the entrances, including the ER's Ambulance entrance. I might steal the Ambo, but I'd be on tape. Due to the need to leave my Chief's car running in some instances, I have a spare door key in my wallet so I can lock the car with the engine running and warning lights on, and still get back into it easily.
          Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
          In memory of
          Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
          Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

          IACOJ Budget Analyst

          I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

          www.gdvfd18.com

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          • #6
            Dal brings a good point. In Victoria, the City Police started to go to the same anti-theft device he describes. Once the key is removed from the ignition (with engine still running) any attempt to move that vehicle without reinserting the key causes a pretty dramatic (so I was told ) systems lockout. And the only way to reset the system is to use the appropriate key.

            I think (might be mistaken here) that BC Ambulance has, or is going to this system as well.
            If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

            "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

            "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

            Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

            impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

            IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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            • #7
              We got the same kinda anti theft device over here.....its basically an isoluation switch that isolates the electrics from the motor.....so like said in previous post...the engine runs with all ligths on and the minute you try to put it in gear or hit the brakes..its all dies....

              We had a crew last week who was heading to a 70 year old woman with breathing problems in a flat complex...when they were returning to the Ambo, they seen someone in the Cab....turned out to be a high 23 year old...he got the Ambo started and for about 20 mins caused havoc in the city center...wreaking parked cars and generaly making alot of mayhem...he was however caught soon after....
              Dublin Fire Brigade

              *The Fire-Fighting Irish*

              If u cant use it, eat it or drink it............SMASH IT !

              And always remember to duck !!!!!

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              • #8
                Let me clarify, I am a fire mechanic and my basic principle when it comes to a mechanical device is "turn off when not in use". An idling engine is just wearing out without providing any benefit to the user. I would rather replace batteries, etc. than engines.

                However I understand the desire to keep the air conditioning running, especially now, it is downright hot these days.

                Birken

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                • #9
                  On the other hand...

                  None of our current equipment will ever have the engines "worn out"

                  Ambulances are traded at 4 years old and about 80,000 miles, and the power trains in the main apparatus will die of old age before wear & tear.

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                  • #10
                    ok, lets be honest. if anyone had any brains, they wouldn't steal an ambulance from a hospital ambulance bay. maybe they would call 911, in a hotel or similar highrise, and hope the unattended ambulance was left running.

                    or if they were brilliant, they would find one of these EMS or transport agencies that park their ambulances outside. then, at 3 am, they would either slim jim the door or break the window, hotwire the rig, and drive away. or even better, take a cop car (they are all parked outside) and hot wire it, as long as you were quick enough to get it done before anyone noticed you were doing it.

                    c'mon people, with all the panic of shutting your apparatus doors and keeping people out of the firehouse/squad building for fear of someone stealing an ambulance, someone with half a brain would realize that there are much easier ways to illegally obtain an emergnecy vehicle.
                    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

                    FF/EMT/DBP

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dalmatian190
                      On the other hand...

                      None of our current equipment will ever have the engines "worn out"

                      Ambulances are traded at 4 years old and about 80,000 miles, and the power trains in the main apparatus will die of old age before wear & tear.
                      Certainly almost no fire apparatus see an engine that is truly worn out but little things do break like fan clutches and fuel pumps to name some that have given me headaches lately and the less hours they run, the longer they can go before being broken...it's just a game of averages.

                      We are splitting hairs here anyway and I will take patient comfort over some benefit to the engine any day but I was just pointing out that leaving the engine running for some percieved benefit to the batteries is a false economy. Batteries should be replaced on a schedule before they have a chance to give trouble anyway to minimize out of service failures. I do mine every 3 years and every 2 years on troublesome rigs. Also plugging the rig in back in the barn helps the batteries immensely and not just at the fire house. That trickle charge keeps them in optimum health for the cases out in the field where you might tend to abuse them more.

                      Birken

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JonnytheTurk
                        We got the same kinda anti theft device over here.....its basically an isoluation switch that isolates the electrics from the motor.....so like said in previous post...the engine runs with all ligths on and the minute you try to put it in gear or hit the brakes..its all dies....

                        We had a crew last week who was heading to a 70 year old woman with breathing problems in a flat complex...when they were returning to the Ambo, they seen someone in the Cab....turned out to be a high 23 year old...he got the Ambo started and for about 20 mins caused havoc in the city center...wreaking parked cars and generaly making alot of mayhem...he was however caught soon after....
                        Geez...what do you guys put in the drinks over there??
                        Tom

                        Never Forget 9-11-2001

                        Stay safe out there!

                        IACOJ Member

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NYSmokey
                          Geez...what do you guys put in the drinks over there??
                          May not be "what" but more likely "how many"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            HICUP........what....HICUP.........I need sleep.......

                            Screw it give me another one....make it a double...and give me 2

                            Dublin Fire Brigade

                            *The Fire-Fighting Irish*

                            If u cant use it, eat it or drink it............SMASH IT !

                            And always remember to duck !!!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Police Recover Stolen Ambulance
                              July 19, 2006

                              Massachusetts - A Trinity ambulance stolen from a local hospital early Monday was recovered yesterday on a Pawtucketville street. A neighborhood resident reported the ambulance on Acorn Street near the intersection with Wright Street about 7:30 a.m., said Capt. Robert DeMoura.

                              A uniform and identification badge were missing from the truck. Police said they have a suspect, but have not made an arrest.

                              Police said the suspect, whose name hasn't been released, agreed to be interviewed at the police station.

                              "Right now we have some information we're following. ... We're right on top of it, we're just not sure what we're getting from it," DeMoura said.

                              The ambulance was stolen outside Saints Memorial Medical Center about 2:30 a.m. Monday after the two EMTs were called to the hospital on a bogus call, police said.

                              The set-up for the theft apparently started at Lowell General Hospital.

                              A video camera at Lowell General captured the suspect on tape as he wandered around that hospital's ambulance bay about midnight Monday. Hospital officials told him to leave when he said he was looking for a telephone but he went to another restricted part of the hospital and tore a security camera off its mount.

                              Footage from the camera is recorded in a remote location and wasn't ruined by the vandalism.

                              The ambulance crew reported to Saints Memorial expecting to pick up a patient and left the van running while they went inside about 2:30 a.m.

                              Hospital staff said they didn't make the call, so the EMTs went back outside and found the ambulance was gone.

                              "To be honest, we do have a company policy that says when all vehicles are unattended they should be shut off," said Trinity owner John Chemaly. "However, with this heat ... they were in the hospital getting a patient and didn't want to come back to a hot truck."

                              The company said the employees, whose names weren't available, were sanctioned.

                              Investigators showed company officials a picture of their suspect and he was identified as a former employee, Chemaly said. He worked as an EMT for the company about 12 years ago.

                              The company has about 55 vehicles including ambulances, wheelchair vans and supervisor vehicles. It hasn't had one stolen using a ruse like Monday's, Chemaly said.

                              Another ambulance was stolen last year though, when police say Juan Carlos Cardenas, of Lowell, who had already stolen a taxi from Nashua earlier in the night, took off in another Trinity ambulance that was responding to a medical call in Lowell.

                              That ambulance was running because it was on a medical call, police said.

                              Cardenas later ditched the ambulance in Bolton, where he stole a dump truck before getting arrested at gunpoint in Stow, police said.

                              Written by The Sun

                              http://www.firefightingnews.com/arti...rticleID=13808
                              If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

                              FF/EMT/DBP

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