VCS, the UK’s leading manufacturer of emergency services vehicles, will unveil its next-generation Dual Crewed Ambulance (DCA) at the Emergency Services Show on 21-22 September. The new Fiat Ducato-based DCA, which will become a mainstay of NHS ambulance fleets across the country, focuses on reducing weight, simplifying systems and further embracing technology.
Significant weight savings have been achieved with the introduction of a low mass loading ramp, while lightweight composites have also been utilised in the vehicle’s interior cabinets, panelling and flooring. Lightweight ABS linings and ceiling panels also improve the interior finish quality, while proving harder-wearing and offering better impact resistance. Further reductions in mass come from replacing standard-fitment OEM exterior glass with a lightweight alternative.
Revisions to the DCA’s electrical systems have also yielded gains in lightweighting, as well as vehicle and manufacturing performance. A new modular electrical harness not only saves weight but also reduces complexity, reducing assembly time. Meanwhile lithium-ion technology and revised battery management systems further reduces weight while also improving performance.
VCS’s next generation DCA also features several solutions from emergency services technology specialist, ACETECH, to deliver a new standard of connectivity to UK ambulance fleets. This includes a new integrated electronic control system, which enables greater flexibility for drivers and crews. Using this system, fleet managers can track key medical assets coded to the vehicle and draw upon customisable system telematics to enable efficiency gains. Meanwhile, ambulance crews benefit from voice activated commands and controls, facial recognition security systems and a 3D surround camera designed in conjunction with VUE.
Mark Kerrigan, Managing Director of VCS, said: “Our Dual Crewed Ambulance makes up a significant proportion of the UK’s ambulance fleet, meaning that any updates to this vehicle can have a profound effect on our emergency services. We’ve taken this responsibility incredibly seriously, ensuring that our next-generation DCA offers significant efficiency gains as well as tangible benefits to crews and ambulance fleet managers alike. The VCS technical department continues to drive innovation for the blue light sector.
Following its appearance at the Emergency Services Show, the next-generation DCA will enter service with West Midlands Ambulance Service.