In subsequent years, the Stealth Power
EMS system was installed on all new ambulances, and in 2014 our ambulance manufacturer began installing the battery
systems at their manufacturing facility in
To date, green-powered electrical systems
have been installed in more than 40 ATCEMS
Reduced emissions and noise from idling
engines not only help to improve our environment, but also help to improve the working
conditions of emergency personnel.
On any given day, there are multiple vehicles idling outside an ED. Breathing in toxic
emissions and the stress caused by hearing
the repetitive, loud noise of the idling engine
are eliminated when the vehicle is turned off.
Additionally, the Stealth Power green
technology has allowed ATCEMS to:
>> Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby
reducing our department’s carbon footprint;
>> Save money by reducing fuel costs from
idling engine time;
>> Reduce engine hours, thereby reducing
vehicle maintenance costs;
>> Employ a new technology with very limited training required;
>> Utilize an accessory battery switch to jump-start a dead engine battery, thereby reducing out-of-service maintenance time; and
>> Provide positive public relations information to the community about our innovative and cost-efficient approach.
As we know, there are always challenges,
not only in the introduction of new processes
and equipment to your workforce, but even
more so as an early adopter of new tech-
nology. Some of these challenges include:
Compatibility issues (retrofitting vs. origi-
nal factory install); new price points; unfore-
seen issues that get resolved with subsequent
updates; lack of long-term supportive data
(the 2017 models will provide battery
usage data); and the cultural and behav-
ioral changes for the workforce (e.g., pow-
ering down parked ambulances, confidence
in vehicle performance and climate control
during extreme heat or cold).
In an ever-increasing search for renewable
and sustainable energy, ATCEMS considers
itself on the forefront of these innovations.
Although this singular initiative may appear
inconsequential, as part of a larger community initiative the net effect can yield significant results. JEMS
Michael O. Benavides, EMT-P, is the primary public information officer for Austin-Travis County EMS, where he’s worked
since 1993. He previously served as a commander with the
Special Operations section.
The “powered by green energy” logo has been placed on Austin-Travis County EMS ambulances to inform the community and highlight the agency’s efforts in utilizing
renewable green energy.
HOW TO INCREASE FUEL EFFICIENCY & REDUCE MAINTENANCE COSTS
>> Avoid speeding, rapid acceleration and
braking. This will lower your gas mileage
by roughly 15–30% at highway speeds
and 10–40% in stop-and-go traffic.
>> Reduce vehicle operation speeds to
below 50 mph. Every 5 mph you drive
over 50 mph is equivalent to paying an
additional $0.16 per gallon per gas.
>> Remove excess weight. An extra 100
lbs. in your vehicle could reduce your
miles per gallon (MPG) by about 1%.
>> Avoid excessive idling. Historically,
ambulances idle 24 hours for every
one hour of drive time (dependent on
type of system, e.g., urban or rural). An
idling ambulance can burn 0.25 to 1. 5
gallons of fuel and can cause 35 to 50
miles worth of wear and tear on the
engine (dependent on engine size and
air conditioner/accessory use).
>> Limit engine start-ups to approximately 10 per day.
>> Limit electric accessory use during
1. Driving more efficiently. (n.d.) U.S. Department of Energy.
Retrieved Aug. 31, 2017, from www.fueleconomy.gov.
Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) entered into a
public-private partnership with Stealth Power and
green-powered electrical systems have now been
installed in more than 40 ATCEMS ambulances.