NFPA 1917: Standard for Automotive Ambulances

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Protect patients and EMS personnel during transport in emergencies. Make sure new ambulances comply with NFPA 1917: Standard for Automotive Ambulances.

Do your best to ensure new ambulances are safe and reliable for patients and EMS staff with the updated, second edition of NFPA 1917. Modeled after the Federal Specification KKK-A-1822 and NFPA 1901: Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus, this critical Standard defines the minimum requirements for the design, performance, and testing of new automotive ambulances intended for use under emergency conditions to provide medical treatment and transportation of sick or injured people to appropriate medical facilities.

NFPA 1917 is essential for manufacturers as well as any agency or organization that uses an ambulance to provide pre-hospital medical care.

In addition to definitions based on current terminology, the Standard presents general requirements for ambulance design and performance, including standalone chapters for ambulance components, chassis, patient compartment, low voltage electrical systems and warning devices, and line voltage electrical systems; with specific provisions for test methods. NFPA 1917 streamlines technical information through easy-to-read charts and graphics, and references NFPA 70®: National Electrical Code® (NEC®), NFPA 1901, and NFPA 1906; ASTM, IPC, and SAE publications; ANSI/UL Standards; and other Government publications.

Changes in the 2016 edition address the needs and demands of today's EMS community.

  • The maximum speed of the vehicle is now based on the rating of the vehicle's tires.
  • New coverage of different patterns for retro-reflective material, and an increase to the percentage of retro-reflective materials that must be used, help make ambulances more visible at night.
  • Updates to the statement of exceptions allow for wider use and adoption by the AHJ.
  • New SAE testing standards, including the new coverage of seat and cot/litter retention, help provide a safer working environment for both occupants and EMS personnel.
  • New references to several AMD standards are now part of the testing requirements.

Update to the 2016 NFPA 1917 for the most up-to-date information for manufacturers, testing organizations, and state EMS officials who adopt the Standard in their jurisdiction. (Softbound, 53 pp., 2016)

 NFPA® 1917 Standard for Automotive Ambulances, 2016 Edition

Chapter 1 Administration
1.1 Scope
1.2 Purpose
1.3 Application
1.4 Retroactivity
1.5 Equivalency
1.6 Units and Formulas
Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
2.1 General
2.2 NFPA Publications
2.3 Other Publications
2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections
Chapter 3 Definitions
3.1 General
3.2 NFPA Official Definitions
3.3 General Definitions
Chapter 4 General Requirements
4.1 General
4.2 Responsibility of the Purchaser
4.3 Responsibility of the Contractor
4.4 Ambulance Components
4.5 Legal Requirements
4.6 Third-Party Certification of Test Results
4.7 Manufacturer Certification of Test Results
4.8 Personnel Protection
4.9 Controls and Instructions
4.10 Component Protection
4.11 Ambulance Performance
4.12 Road Performance
4.13 Serviceability
4.14 Tests on Delivery
4.15 Documentation
4.16 Data Required of Contractor
4.17 Statement of Exceptions
Chapter 5 Chassis
5.1 Carrying Capacity
5.2 Weight Distribution
5.3 Engine and Engine System Design
5.4 Engine Speed Auxiliary Control Device
5.5 Cooling System
5.6 Exhaust System
5.7 Braking System
5.8 Suspension
5.9 Wheels and Tires
5.10 Vehicle Stability
5.11 Bumpers
5.12 Cab Seal
5.13 Front Seats
5.14 Mirrors
5.15 Cab Integrity
Chapter 6 Patient Compartment
6.1 Patient Compartment Configuration
6.2 Mounting
6.3 Structural Integrity - Roof Loading
6.4 Body Structural Integrity - Side Loading
6.5 Body Sealing
6.6 Wheel Housings
6.7 Patient Compartment to Cab Partition
6.8 Access Handrails or Handholds
6.9 Patient Compartment Entry Doors
6.10 Means of Egress
6.11 Exterior Stepping Surfaces and Interior Steps
6.12 Exterior Storage
6.13 Floor
6.14 Floor Covering
6.15 Insulation
6.16 Interior Storage
6.17 Interior Surfaces
6.18 Equipment Mounting
6.19 Waste and Sharps Disposal
6.20 Holder for Intravenous Fluid Containers
6.21 Patient Compartment Seats
6.22 Patient Cot Retention
6.23 HVAC
6.24 Interior Noise
6.25 Reflective Striping
6.26 Metal Finish
6.27 Painting
6.28 Medical Gas - Main Supply and Installation
6.29 Suction Aspirator
Chapter 7 Low Voltage Electrical Systems and Warning Devices
7.1 General
7.2 Wiring
7.3 Power Supply
7.4 Operational Electrical Load Test Conditions
7.5 Load Management
7.6 Batteries
7.7 Temperature Exposure
7.8 Electromagnetic Interference
7.9 Optical Warning Devices
7.10 Audible Warning Devices
7.11 Exterior and Interior Lighting
7.12 Do-Not-Move Ambulance Light
7.13 Backup Alarm
7.14 Stop, Tail, and Directional Lights
7.15 Communications Equipment
Chapter 8 Line Voltage Electrical Systems
8.1 General
8.2 General Requirements
8.3 Grounding and Bonding
8.4 Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters
8.5 Wiring Methods
8.6 Wiring System Components
8.7 Cord Reels
8.8 Scene Lighting Systems
8.9 Appliance Accessibility and Fastening
Chapter 9 Line Voltage Power Source
9.1 Line Voltage Power Derived from an Inverter
9.2 Generators Rated Below 11 hp (8 kW) General Requirements
9.3 Power Sources of 11 hp (8 kW) or Larger
9.4 Wiring for Portable Generator
Annex A Explanatory Material
Annex B Informational References