ATS NTSBTemplateJan2008 by 5sk81od


									From Supporting Organizations                                     (SAMPLE LETTER to NTSB)
Please use your own letterhead


Mark V. Rosenker, Chairman
National Transportation Safety Board
490 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594

Request for NTSB to investigate the July 20th, 2007 Ohio Ambulance crash

Dear Chairman Rosenker,

We are writing to you to bring to your attention our serious and ongoing concerns regarding
ambulance safety issues and to ask the NTSB to investigate the horrendous ambulance crash in
Ohio, July 20th, 2007 that killed five (5) occupants in the ambulance. We are concerned because
ambulance crashes are five to 20 times more lethal per mile traveled than trucks, and have in
excess of 4 times the annual fatality rate per mile of buses. We are also concerned because most
of our member programs utilize ambulances everyday.

Ambulances are essentially exempt from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS)
and not covered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). There is national
oversight of truck, bus, limo and passenger vehicle accidents utilizing commercial fleet safety
databases – such as FMSCA. There is national oversight of police and fire truck accidents.
However, no such oversight exists for ambulance industry accidents. Yet, the data clearly
demonstrate that ambulance transport is one of the most dangerous and lethal forms of transport
per mile traveled on our roads and highways and likely the only form of transport on our
highways that has no infrastructure to oversee and address its safety issues and concerns.

Even though ambulances represent a small number out of the total vehicles involved in fatal
crashes, the impact of these events is far reaching. We are gravely concerned that EMS vehicles
are THE MOST LIKELY vehicles on the road per mile traveled and per EMS vehicle to be
involved in a fatal crash based on the FARS and NHTSA data, with fatality rates up to 30 times
the fatality rate per mile traveled for other vehicles. Furthermore it is also well understood from
the published literature that the FARS data is an underestimate.

Additionally, the ambulance industry has no enforceable manufacturing vehicle safety standards,
and there are no crashworthiness standards for the patient compartment. There is currently little
evidence of a national, uniform policy to guide best practices for ambulance design and
implementation of policies and practices that lessen the risks in operating emergency vehicles.
The recent NHTSA report on “Feasibility for an EMS Workforce Safety and Health Surveillance
System” does not focus on addressing or improving EMS transport safety.

The role of the new EMS Transportation Safety Subcommittee (part of the Transportation
Research Board of the National Academies) is to discuss research addressing ambulance transport
safety and generate research data to highlight EMS safety issues and to raise the NTSB’s
awareness. This was clearly outlined at the TRB 87th Conference on January 16. Please see the
presentations on the website under Resources/Safety Policy.
We need to do more to help prevent tragedies like the devastating ambulance accident in Ohio,
the worst carnage in any ambulance crash in the history of the United States. There is a worsening
national crisis in Emergency Medical Services recruiting and retaining volunteer and paid
providers, and in this case not only were five people so tragically killed , but the region where this
crash took place lost 50% of their EMS fleet and one third of their work force.

We implore you to conduct an NTSB investigation of this specific accident as well as future
ambulance accidents that result in significant damage, injury or death. We also encourage
the NTSB to strongly recommend that existing federal data bases be expanded to include all
major ambulance crashes. There is no other safety oversight or even appropriately trained
advanced engineering personnel to investigate these events in a comprehensive and
multidisciplinary manner. These accidents involve highway safety, transportation safety,
commercial vehicle operation, vehicle design and safety, occupational health and safety,
transportation systems engineering, highway design and emergency health care delivery, practice
and policies. Only the NTSB has the mission and expertise to make this impartial and critical
critique and the needed recommendations that can save lives of the ambulance personnel and
those that entrust them with their lives.

Please help us!



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