This SAE Recommended Practice describes the testing procedures required to evaluate the integrity of a ground ambulance-based patient litter, litter retention system, and patient restraint when exposed to a frontal or side impact. Its purpose is to provide litter manufacturers, ambulance builders, and end-users with testing procedures and, where appropriate, acceptance criteria that, to a great extent ensures the patient litter, litter retention system, and patient restraint utilizes a similar dynamic performance test methodology to that which is applied to other vehicle seating and occupant restraint systems. Descriptions of the test set-up, test instrumentation, photographic/video coverage, test 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 patient litter, its attaching hardware to the vehicle, and the restraint system for the patient. The Recommended Practice was validated collaboratively by industry and government partners through extensive testing funded and managed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Department of Homeland Security and the Ambulance Manufacturers Division of the NTEA. Input loading for the dynamic testing 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.