Learn more about the inside of an ambulance in case of an emergency | Western Cape Government

Learn more about the inside of an ambulance in case of an emergency

patient-receives-medical-careIf you find yourself inside an ambulance, it means that you’re injured or accompanying a loved one who needs urgent medical care.

While the experience may be anything but fun, we show you what to expect should you or a loved one need help from our Emergency Medical Services.

Medical treatment
Paramedics are trained professionals who provide pre-hospital care. If you need healthcare services, they should:

  • ensure that you are comfortable, strapped up correctly, and covered by a blanket,
  • check your blood sugar levels and blood pressure,
  • provide oxygen mask and drip,
  • determine the necessary treatment by giving you a physical exam, and
  • provide any other medical treatment necessary and get you to the nearest healthcare facility.

Medical equipment

Every ambulance has equipment needed to prevent fatalities. These include:

  • Oxygen
  • A stretcher
  • Gloves, syringes, needles, sterile wipes, bandages
  • A maternity kit
  • Ped pans
  • Cold packs
  • A cardiac monitor
  • A burn kit
  • A radio used to communicate with the hospital

Things you shouldn’t do inside an ambulancepatient-inside-ambulance

Remember, paramedics are  trained professionals, and you should always co-operate with them. Here are 5 things you should not do inside an ambulance.

  1. Do not sit up
    Remain flat on your back unless otherwise instructed. Your paramedic needs to run tests, and cannot do so while you’re sitting. 
  2. Do not remove your oxygen mask
    An oxygen mask will cover your nose and mouth. You should not remove it unless you are instructed to do so.
  3. Do not remove your drip
    A drip is used to transfer medicine into your blood. In some cases it may save your life and shouldn’t be removed.
  4. Do not lay with your legs off the stretcher
    It’s important that both feet are on the stretcher to keep you secure, and because paramedics may move around you to provide treatment.
  5. Do not damage any equipment
    You need to remain calm and trust your paramedic. Don’t purposefully pull or damage any equipment.

Preparing for a medical emergency
It’s important to know what you can do in cases of emergency. It’s always helpful to have:

  • a first aid kit,
  • a packed bag if you are pregnant and due to give birth,
  • a phone, to contact emergency services,
  • written information that includes your name and contact details of loved ones,
  • information about your doctor, blood type and the medication you use, and
  • a list of your allergies.patient-instructed-to-sit

How to reach us

To access emergency medical services, dial 10177 and an ambulance will be sent out.

When you call you must provide:

  • your address or location,
  • the nature of the medical problem, and
  • your name and a contact. You should ensure that contact person will be available until the ambulance arrives.

Learn more about our emergency medical services and how you can become a volunteer. 

The content on this page was last updated on 5 May 2015