|Central EMS and the Braun Express Ambulance||
Feedback from our end customers is a critical component to our continual improvement process at Braun Industries. We have implemented follow up measures in our delivery process to survey our customers, and we often seize the opportunity to talk with them one-on-one about their experiences working with Braun. During a recent visit to our plant, we had the pleasure of speaking with Steve Harrison, Assistant Chief of the Washington County Regional Ambulance Authority.
Acting as an Inter-Local Agreement for Ambulance Service, the Washington County Regional Ambulance Authority is responsible for Central EMS. Central EMS is owned and operated by the communities it serves, and is one of the leading ambulance services in Northwest Arkansas. They are the only National Academy of Emergency Dispatch Accredited 911 center in the state, allowing them to provide quality emergency medical instruction to callers before first responders arrive on scene. They most commonly respond to general medical related emergencies, wheel chair transport requests, and inter-facility transport requests.
In total, Central EMS operates 16 Braun ambulances in their fleet. All units are the Braun Express model. Having been a Braun customer for over 7 years, they continue to come back because our sales and service team is responsive and always available to speak with.
As with many of our customers, Central EMS chose Braun due to our unique SolidBody™ Construction. In our construction process, the ambulance module is built as one integrated box from .125” flat-sheet piece of marine grade aluminum. All components are constructed from brake formed parts with fully welded seams, including the floor, roof, sides and doors. The result is a module with no separate extruded frame, which creates a safer, stronger, lighter box.
While the organization was originally concerned about the cost of a Braun, they found out they were able to get everything they desired in their ambulances at an affordable price. They chose the Braun Express model in particular because it is easily modified to accommodate their custom requests. Furthermore, the unit provides the space they desired for adequate equipment storage and patient and crew work space. The reliability of the Express also keeps them up and running, and offers minimal downtime in the event that a repair or maintenance is needed.
Assistance Chief, Steve Harrison, has the following to say about the organization’s Braun ambulances: “Our staff really likes working in these units. They feel safe, and have plenty of space to provide patient care.”
Thank you for your continued support of the Braun brand Central EMS. We love serving you as a customer!
|The Switch from MedTec to Braun||
On our Facebook page, we recently posted an advertisement from our Florida and Georgia dealer, Ten-8 Fire Equipment. The ad itself featured a Braun delivery to Temple Terrace Fire Department. The unit is a Braun Super Chief Type I Medium Duty Ambulance on a Freightliner M2 extended cab chassis. It seemed to pique a lot of interest on our Facebook page, so we thought we’d share more on the unit!
When Temple Terrace was looking to buy a new ambulance, they had a problem. The department had previously purchased all of their ambulances from MedTec and they were not happy with the quality of the vehicles or customer service they had been receiving as of late. However, over the years, they had developed their ambulance specifications and features around MedTec’s designs. They wanted to keep it easy on their fleet maintenance crew to work on the vehicles, so they hoped to keep many of those established design considerations the same on their new ambulance(s) with a new manufacturer.
Having purchased fire trucks, fire equipment, and ambulances from Ten-8 Fire Equipment for over 20 years, Temple Terrace’s sales representative, Cindy Morgan, suggested they consider Braun for their next ambulance. Cindy understood that the most important thing to Temple Terrace was reliability. They needed a quality-built emergency vehicle that would encounter minimal downtime. She knew that Braun could meet those needs, and custom design their ambulance to meet the department’s previous vehicle design specifications.
When asked about their decision to switch to Braun, Temple Terrace Fire Department Chief, Keith Chapman, had the following to say:
When Ten-8 suggested we look at Braun, we felt it was very important to go visit the facility in person. Myself and our fleet manager went up to Van Wert, Ohio, and we were very impressed by what we saw. The SolidBody Construction to create one integrated module for the box was far above what we’d seen quality-wise with other brands. It was also nice to meet the owners. Like Ten-8, we appreciated the fact that Braun is a family-owned and operated company.
That initial visit proved to be much more than just a confirmation of the quality behind the Braun name. It served as our pre-construction meeting. Face-to-face, we were able to do a comparison of our existing units versus what we could get on a new unit. We were also able to see units they had in production, which opened our eyes to new design points we had not previously considered.
It was truly an invaluable trip. If I could tell another department one thing about switching manufacturers, it would be to take advantage of an offer to visit the factory and conduct that pre-construction meeting in person. There is a lot to sort out in making the transition. Since we handled it on the front-end, we will now have a much easier time with future orders. Braun knows exactly what we want and they’re able to deliver on it.
The Temple Terrace unit carries the fire gear on their extended cab chassis with roll up doors, keeping it separate from the EMS/rescue equipment in the ambulance. It was important to the department to divide these up; they feel it allows their first responders to be more efficient and is more sanitary for the EMS/rescue equipment. The exterior also features electrical equipment, which was essential to their fleet mechanics.
Inside the unit, there are many standard features that were implemented in a custom fashion to provide Temple Terrace the layout they were used to. This includes all bench seating and a locked refrigerator and drug cabinet. Braun was able to integrate the department’s existing electronic key system into these components. The system tracks which employees access the locked compartments and when for accountability.
The unit also features two separate AC units. While at the station, the unit stays plugged in to maintain a certain temperature, regardless of the time of year. This is done through a roof top air condition unit and is important for medications and solutions in the module that are not required to be refrigerated, but may not survive the harsh Florida heat and humidity for long. Inside the module, there is a FT-454 AC unit, which keeps it very cold while in service.
Lastly, Braun was able to take the existing fleet graphics Temple Terrace had developed and apply them to the new ambulance. Seven years prior, the department had redesigned everything to create a cohesive look. Braun was able to replicate these so their new ambulance is identical to their existing MedTec units.
We would like to sincerely thank Chief Keith Chapman of Temple Terrace Fire Department and Cindy Morgan of Ten-8 Fire Equipment for their insight when developing this blog. We hope Chief Chapman’s feedback is helpful to others considering a switch from one ambulance manufacturer to another… and we thank the department again for trusting Braun & Ten-8 to deliver on their new unit!
|The City of New Orleans Goes Braun||
Here at Braun Industries, we get excited about each and every opportunity to work with a new department. Last year, we were particularly pleased to bid on a set of specifications for the City of New Orleans. Working with our regional ambulance dealer for the area, Lone Star Emergency Vehicles, we were educated on the needs and wants of one of the busiest EMS departments in the country. Now, the finished units are leaving our plant a few at a time, and we are beyond proud to deliver them to The Big Easy.
Tim Hutchens, President of Lone Star Emergency Vehicles, has the following to say about the New Orleans order.
We have had an ongoing relationship for over twenty-years with the City of New Orleans EMS. As big cities go, you would be hard-pressed to find another EMS service that is more passionate, more tenured, more experienced, and has the variety of trauma calls than the team of professionals at NOLA EMS. Fully understanding the unique requirements of their EMS service is of paramount importance to us as we provide the appropriate tools they need to save lives.
The emergency vehicles that serve the City of New Orleans face a unique set of challenges. For one, they are on emergency calls for service 70-75% of the time. In 2012, the department ran 55,000 calls! Additionally, the tough urban environment of the city streets exposes them to a lot of wear and tear. With little downtime, NOLA’s ambulance units must be prepared to hit the pavement … and stand up to it!
Previously, the City had invested in MedTec units for their fleet. When the manufacturer went out of business last year, New Orleans was forced to seek out a new emergency vehicle provider. To mitigate their risk of a similar situation down the road, New Orleans approached their most recent review of ambulance companies with a different attitude. They were looking for a company that would stand the test of time. Furthermore, they were seeking a partner – someone they could build a long-term relationship with.
New Orleans EMS Chief Carl Flores has the following to say about their choice to work with Braun Industries.
Selecting the right vendor for our new ambulances was critical. We had a unique set of bid specifications that demanded a lot. Most importantly, we weren’t looking for someone to just sell us some ambulances and move on. We were looking for a long-term partner. With an initial plan to build over 20 units, and then convert the entire fleet, a lot rested on our decision.
Braun Industries was chosen as the winning bidder because they have 40 years of proven commitment to the EMS industry and their customers. We talked with some of the largest departments in the country and they all had exceptional reviews about working with Braun Industries. In the end, Braun was able to deliver on all of our requests – when no other manufacturer could. They went above and beyond on proving to us they were in it for the long haul.
The first completed Braun ambulance was delivered to The City of New Orleans on February 3, 2013, just in time for Super Bowl XLVII. Additional units are coming out of production on March 11, 2013 and March 25, 2013. All units are the Braun Liberty ambulance model on a Ford F450 Super Cab chassis. Countless customizations have been made to the module to ensure NOLA received all of the features they needed to best serve their community.
Unique ambulance design points include an all aluminum interior; this is new for New Orleans. There is also a custom designed aluminum console to store NOLA’s mobile data terminal, a siren, radios, a wireless keyboard, and flashlights. The box includes a rear module camera and backup camera, along with a GPS feature, which has been built into the MasterTech IV Vista Screens. The box also contains custom mounts for the specific equipment NOLA uses to make it easier and safer for the crew to access it and provide critical care.
Congratulations again to The City of New Orleans on their new Braun ambulances! It has been a pleasure working with you and Lone Star on your emergency vehicles. We look forward to serving The Big Easy and its residents for years to come!