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Clemson University Fire & EMS adds new ambulances with enhanced safety features


Clemson University Fire & Emergency Medical Services is adding to its inventory of life safety enhancements. Thanks to an appropriation made by the South Carolina General Assembly during FY20, the University recently purchased two ambulances featuring a number of modern safety upgrades to better serve students, faculty, staff, guests and the surrounding community.

“We want to thank the General Assembly for providing our Fire & EMS team with this allocation which will enhance life safety support at Clemson University,” said Associate Vice President for Public Safety Greg Mullen. “These two state-of-the-art ambulances allow us to provide the excellent level of patient care we’re known for and to maintain the highest level of expertise as we go about expanding our capacities and capabilities within EMS response.”

According to available data, 57 percent of the department’s 1,700-plus annual incident responses from 2018 through 2020 were related to emergency medical services. Clemson Fire & EMS services the main campus footprint and provides mutual aid assistance to adjacent jurisdictions when requested.

The department began accepting bids to replace its current Medic-2 and Medic-3 ambulances about nine months ago, according to Deputy Chief Bill Shivar. Once the manufacturer received the chassis, it took between 90 and 120 days to convert and upfit the vehicles with several safety enhancements, including:

  • Higher ceiling clearance for providers to fully stand up, longer patient compartment allowing for the transportation of taller persons such as student-athletes
  • HVAC units that run 24 hours a day to keep medical supplies and the unit in an appropriate, climate-controlled environment
  • Refrigerated compartments for medicines to keep them in compliance with FDA guidelines
  • Exterior compartments for fire-protective gear and self-contained breathing apparatuses to enable an all-hazards response
  • Enhanced restraint harnesses equipped with controlled deceleration technology to absorb crash energy and reduce the chance of serious injury
  • Seat restraint harnesses for both patients and attendants, allowing for safe standing and reaching
  • Flexible seating for young children
  • Additional padding for crash protection

The vehicles were delivered to Clemson Fire Station No. 2 on Issaqueena Trail last week.

“The University has been very gracious to our public safety team by having a capital replacement program,” Shivar said. “The two existing trucks they’re replacing will continue in operation for the next month or so until these ambulances pass the necessary inspection. Safety is our primary concern for the campus community, so we are thrilled to integrate these new vehicles into our fleet.”