July 13

A Comprehensive Look Inside an Ambulance

Last Updated on September 7, 2023

If you have ever seen an ambulance on television or witnessed one zooming by with sirens blaring and lights flashing, you have likely pondered what lies inside this vehicle. An ambulance includes a myriad of features, showcasing more inside than you could ever predict. This guide will take you on a tour, shedding light on the vast array of medical equipment and the roles played by heroic paramedics who operate it. While they are helping patients daily, none of that be impossible without the intricacies of this emergency vehicle. Let’s take a comprehensive look inside an ambulance.

Ambulance exterior 1

Designed for Function and Preparedness

If you enter an ambulance car through the rear door, the first thing that will capture your attention is the compact yet functional interior. Despite the restricted space, an ambulance is stocked to the brim with lifesaving medical equipment. That includes storage space for ventilators, medicine, and many other things. Ambulances carry medications for immediate treatment, from pain relief to cardiac arrest drugs. They also have specialized equipment such as a defibrillator to restore a normal heartbeat in patients experiencing a cardiac emergency.

An ambulance is something like a mini-hospital on wheels. Instead of you going to the doctor, the medical delivery comes to you.

In the center, a secure stretcher, the most visible piece of equipment, is firmly anchored. This device is what a paramedic uses to transport patients who are sick, injured, or experiencing severe health complications like a heart attack. Adjacent to the stretcher, you’ll find medical devices such as an ECG machine for monitoring heart activity, and a bag valve mask for manually assisting a patient’s breathing.

Ambulance interior 1

The emergency vehicle also includes other medical equipment, like a blood pressure monitor, an oxygen mask, and a basic life support (BLS) kit. These are all within arm’s reach of a paramedic. Also nearby is a compact board showcasing a lineup of syringes, bandages, and other essential supplies for treating various types of injury.

If you have ever seen images of the inside of an ambulance, you know the high level organization such an emergency vehicle entails. Without that organization, paramedics would spend time having to search for things. Time spent in search of a tool or medicine amounts to time not treating someone. That’s why every piece of equipment has a designated spot, ensuring paramedics can locate and use them efficiently.

Ultimately, an ambulance isn’t designed just to reach a destination, but to prolong and protect the lives of patients within. As technology grows more advanced, patients can expect the number of amenities to grow with a focus on the best life-preserving details.

Ambulance exterior 2

Role of Paramedics

The inside of an ambulance is quite impressive, but so are the people who work within that space. Paramedics are the trained healthcare professionals who respond to emergencies, deliver immediate care to patients, and transport them to the hospital.

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They’re in charge of monitoring the patients’ vital signs, administering medication, performing interventions like airway management. During the drive, paramedics also communicate crucial information to the emergency department before the patient is admitted. All of this is done while they speed to the hospital, often through dense traffic and narrow streets. Typically, one paramedic tends to the patient and the other drives using a GPS system mapping out the shortest route possible.

This profession requires knowledge in operating various pieces of equipment, safely driving an ambulance, and a very intimate level of customer care.

Basic and Complex Equipment

Here are some basic and complex pieces of equipment that paramedics operate:

What's Inside an Ambulance infographic
  • Pulse oximeter
  • Glucose meter
  • Temperature monitor
  • Splints
  • Burn kits
  • Pediatric equipment
  • Radios and onboard computers
  • BLS kit
  • Oxygen tank
  • Defibrillator
  • Stretcher

What Ambulances are not

Ambulances allow emergency personnel to respond to many types of problems, but ambulances are not a permanent substitute for hospitals. Though they pack plenty of storage space, there’s only so much room to contain medicines and equipment. Moreover, being filled to the brim with important supplies means there is limited room to move around. Three people standing in the truck bed is a stretch for most ambulances. Though, larger ambulances such as an advanced life support ambulance can seat more.

Ambulance interior 2

What Ambulances can be

Aside from the life-saving support ambulances offer on a daily basis, some people have found other, more personal uses for these vehicles. With all of the included storage space, ambulances have proven to be great work fleet vehicles. Plus, they have a ready-made electrical system, which is helpful for electrical or landscaping companies who employ them. Oftentimes, there is also a sink inside an ambulance. That’s great news if you want to run a food truck business. But if you’re more interested in something for just you and the family, other people have taken their ambulances and converted them into tailgating masterpieces. There’s room to install additional seating, decorations, and more.

Using an ambulance as a personal or work vehicle will require removing the municipal signage, but once you know what you’re doing and what you’re converting the ambulance into, the process runs smoothly.

Types of Ambulance Conversions infographic

Frequently Asked Questions

What is inside an ambulance?

An ambulance is equipped with various medical supplies and equipment, including a stretcher, oxygen supply, bag valve masks, blood pressure monitor, ECG machine, defibrillator, and numerous emergency medications. It also has communication devices to maintain contact with the hospital.

Is the inside of an ambulance loud?

While the siren of an ambulance can be loud, the interior is designed to be as quiet as possible to allow paramedics to concentrate on treating the patient.

What are the parts of an ambulance?

An ambulance typically consists of the driver’s area, patient compartment, and storage compartments. The patient compartment houses the medical equipment, while the storage compartments carry extra supplies.

How big is an ambulance inside?

The size of an ambulance’s interior can vary based on its type and purpose. However, an ambulance car is typically designed to efficiently utilize the limited space, providing room for the patient, one or two paramedics, and all the necessary medical equipment. There are, however, certain types of ambulances that seat more than two paramedics and have more storage space for supplies.

Ambulance exterior 3

The Bottom Line

Accidents and emergencies can happen in the blink of an eye. Ambulances are designed to respond swiftly and with purpose. So, whether assisting for a heart attack or responding to a natural disaster, the interior of an ambulance serves as the first line of medical response. There’s space for medicine, equipment, and helpful personnel. From the stretcher where the patient rests to the high-tech medical equipment, every detail inside these vehicles has been meticulously planned and arranged. Then, when retired, ambulances take on new life as work or recreational vehicles, proving their utility in other aspects of life.

If you are interested in getting your own for the sake of work or showing off in the neighborhood, or if you just want to see more of their insides and outsides, then take a look at our ambulance auctions. We offer models from different municipalities all across the country!


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