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INSTRUCTIONS AND ADVICE TO CHAUFFEURS AND DRIVERS SUPPLEMENTARY TO THE RULES AND REGULATIONS
1. The first purpose of an ambulance is to respond to an emergency call as promptly and as quickly as possible with safety, and without running the risk of an accident either to the car or to any person or vehicle.
The object is to minister to a human being, sick or injured; to render first aid or immediate relief and then transfer the sufferer to the hospital or his home.
This is work of the greatest importance. It should be well and carefully done. No interest of self, personal wish, desire to favor another, to look well or show off should interfere with the service.
Chauffeurs and drivers should Consider that they are charged with a high mission. They are the agents of the hospital; to an extent almost city officials, and should conduct themselves with dignity and propriety as becomes men engaged in saving life.
They should realize their responsibilities.
The ambulance is no place for frivolity, loud talking, needless bell clanging or "stunts" with the machine An ambulance is no vehicle for a joy ride.
The rules of the Board of Ambulance Service should be known by heart and carefully and honorably observed. The following instructions and suggestions, supple— nientary to the Rules and Regulations, are intended to interpret the same in greater detail.
1. In spite of congested traffic and slippery streets, accidents must be avoided. Ambulances can move safely only by the exercise of care and caution. The car must run surefooted and fast, not too fast must always he under control and not One chance must be taken.
2. Men entrusted with this important duty must always be saying to themselves
—‘I will he careful. I will remember, I will fix my mind on my work. My attention shall not be distracted. Human life may depend, does depend. upon my actions there fore, I will play the man, assume responsibility and acquit myself well. I will not hurt anyone. 1 will not kill anyone.’’
I. As far as possible, consistent with excellent service, the speed regulations of the city will be observed, Generally speaking,
ambulances can follow the speed regulations with safety, that is, will go fast enough in ordinary cases.
2. It is the habit of drivers (which must be guarded against) to speed all the time; to go out on a call rapid]y, to return rapidly, and to drive an empty ambulance returning on a transfer case or upon a case where there is no particular need for it, as fast as when a few minutes may mean life or death to the patient in the car. This is wrong and will not be tolerated.
3. It is only occasionally that the higher speed is necessary. Fifteen or twenty miles is fast enough. Four miles on the turn, for one never knows what is around the corner.
(No exception to four miles on corners.)
4. Slow up when many people are seen ahead on the crosswalks. The car under control is so easily slowed down and speeded up again. Avoid passing between trolley car and sidewalk except in imperative necessity. Have the car tinder sharp control or hold the horse with a tight rein, soothed or encouraged, as the need may be.
5. Don’t speed and then jamb on the brakes. A child should know better. It ruins the shoes, strains the brakes, and costs, costs, costs. Don’t go so fast. Don’t hold the speed until the place of slowing down is reached. Cut down the gas before that.
1. In Manhattan, avoid Broadway, Fifth avenue, 14th street, 23d street, 34th street, 42d street.
2. In Brooklyn, avoid Fulton street, the junction of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, Broadway (Williamsburgh), and the entrances to the bridges.
3. If the ambulance is called to any of these places, duty is the warrant for going, but to take an ambulance through the congestion of such sections needlessly is absolutely prohibited Time can be saved and danger avoided by taking a nearby street. Be doubly vigilant at corners of intersecting streets, where car tracks cross each other at right angles. Example: 23d street at 4th avenue or Broadway or 6th avenue.
4. Some of the ambulance drivers have the idea that they cut an imposing figure by dashing into a congested district. It is no part of the function of an ambulance to pose before, annoy or frighten the public.
5. Unless on duty call, the parks are to be avoided. An idea a prevails that it is pleasant for the surgeon and the driver to ride through the parks, the increase in distance through winding roads being made up by extra speed. Ambulances are not sent out for the pleasure of the surgeons and drivers. Keep out of the parks positively unless summoned there.
V. THE AMBULANCE
1. Keep it clean and in good condition. Treat it as the engineer treats his locomotive. Regard it as a faithful servant that will do just as well as it can. When the car is brought in the first business is to see that it is in good order to go out again.
2. Care in tightening nuts, looking for loose parts, will prolong the life of the motor and give the driver confidence. Do not put off little things that should be done. Report breaks or lost parts to superintendent immediately, or any damage or accident to the equipment.
3. Be careful about the condition Of the tires. Their proper inflation. Whether they are cut or broken and liable to give out. Put spare time on the car. Take pride in the work and thus enable the car to do its best.
4. On wet days put on non-skid chains before the call is received. Look out for the radiators. Keep them warm in cold weather. Be sure that there is gas in the tank sufficient for the run, or sufficient voltage in the batteries.
EQUIPMENT FOR THE PATIENT.
5. Be sure the blankets, pillows and sheets are clean, and have extra covering in Cold weather, particularly for transfers.
The comfort of the patient is the great thing.
6. If the surgeon’s kit or bag is left in the car notify the superintendent If oil, see that the lamps are properly filled and the glasses clean. Neglect no detail.
7. See that everything that goes in the car, oxygen tanks, pulmotor, ice or any equipment called for is in good condition and in its place.
8. All that is said of the motor ambulance can in principle be applied to the horse ambulance. Keep it in order. Treat the horse kindly as a silent brother.
1. The Ambulance Board will not consent to the employment of any chauffeur or electric ear driver unless he has a license and has experience. No man should expect to get his first experience in driving an ambulance.
2. No chauffeur or driver is too expert, too experienced, too high class to drive an ambulance. If the driver is not among the best in his line he should seek to become so. Take pains. Be careful.
1. The chauffeur or driver alone is responsible for the service of his car. The surgeon may advise as to the needs of the patient, but the chauffeur or driver must use his own judgment in what he will do, and that should be his best.
2. He should familiarize himself with the streets of his district, lie should know where the pavements are good, what streets are being repaired, which are the main thoroughfares, so that he can get through his district as easily, quietly and comfortably as possible.
3. No man must he allowed to ride with the driver. This rule is imperative. There has always been a surgeon or a friend riding with the driver in the worst accidents chargeable to the service.
4. The driver is responsible for the impression on the public made by the ambulance service. There should he no needless clanging of the bell. It is used as a signal asking for the respectful consideration and yielding courtesy of those ahead, and also the right of way.
5. The bell should be rung some little distance before street crossings. Traffic
police complain that ambulances will run up, and, without waiting for the officer’s signal, (lash across the street. This is wrong. Respect the traffic officer. He will assist the passing of the car if given a chance. The car is not a lawless engine sent out to run recklessly. It carries the reputation of the hospital and may alienate tile good will of the public.
6. While the ambulance is awaited with
anxiety, its arrival should bring gratitude. If the foregoing instructions are earnestly carried out, the ambulance will he received as a benediction, and not regarded, as it sometimes now is, as a necessary pest.
Every chauffeur and driver should resolve every day: “I will do my best. I will not have an accident. I will not take chances. I will not presume on the right of way. I will help the surgeon. I will not magnify my rights or he particular about my dignity. I will serve the cause of humanity and the hospitals.’’
To-day the service is good. It can be better. Every chauffeur and driver must help make it so.
By order of the Board.
JOHN A. KINGSBURY,
December 30, 1914.
Keywords: NYC, New York City, NYC EMS, FDNY, rules
Last Revision Date: 2/25/08 - 5:17 PM