When you think of safety at ambulance stations, the first thing that comes to mind are protocols and procedures, how is the hygiene, is everything well sanitized and disinfected. And if you think about it a little bit longer, you come up with special clothing, reflective and striking colours, gloves and mouth caps to treat people safely.
However, safety in and around the ambulance station is not thought of. What about the traffic situation around the exit? Is there a bike path or sidewalk? Or do you get out on the road straight away? All these questions that are important when designing or converting the building.
On several places a warning sign is used to warn road users for departing emergency services. The ambulance crew presses the button next to the controls of the door, which activates the board. The lights on the board remain on for 2 minutes, enough time for the ambulance to leave. It warns road users for a dangerous situation and helps the ambulance crew to leave safely. This warning sign has to be placed and financed by local authorities, which is a disadvantage and therefore, not in all cases an appropriate solution.
Another way to warn traffic, is to place warnings immediately around the exit, these can be for example light signals such as warning lights or traffic lights. When there are flashing lights, people are alerted to a changed situation. If traffic lights are placed, people will have to wait until the ambulance has left. Both options can also be combined to ensure a safe, secure departure.
Ultimately, the lives of patients are intended to be saved, and if a safe departure from the ambulance can contribute a little, everyone is helped.