Ambulance Patient Compartment Seating Integrity and Occupant Restraint
This SAE Recommended Practice describes the testing procedures that may be used to evaluate the integrity of ground ambulance-based occupant seating and occupant restraint systems for workers and civilians transported in the patient compartment of an ambulance when exposed to a frontal or side impact. This Recommended Practice was based on ambulance patient compartment dynamics and is not applicable to other vehicle applications or seating positions. This Recommended Practice is structured to accommodate seating systems installed in multiple attitudes including but not limited to side-facing, rear-facing, and forward-facing. Its purpose is to provide ambulance seating manufacturers, ambulance occupant restraint manufacturers, ambulance builders, and end-users with testing procedures and, where appropriate, acceptance criteria that, to a great extent ensures the occupant seating and occupant restraint system meet similar performance criteria as FMVSS 208 requires for seat belted passengers in light vehicles. The test conditions utilized are standardized orientations that do not reflect potential conditions that may exist prior to impact such as braking and/or steering and their effects on the initial positions of the occupants and surfaces relative to the occupants. Descriptions of the test set-up, test instrumentation, photographic/video coverage, text fixture, and performance metrics are included.
This SAE Recommended Practice was developed by members of the SAE Truck Crashworthiness Committee in support of the ambulance industry’s need to apply science to the design and testing of the occupant seating and occupant restraint systems for workers and civilians transported in the patient compartment of an ambulance. The Recommended Practice was validated collaboratively by industry and government partners through extensive testing funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Department of Homeland Security and the Ambulance Manufacturers Division of the NTEA. Input loading was generated using the vehicle specific crash pulses described in SAE J2917 and SAE J2956, respectively. An independent analysis of the testing methodology and resulting data was performed by government and private members of the automotive testing community.