A&M architecture students design 'super ambulances'

Post 9-11 emergency response vehicles equipped for chemical, biological attacks

Designs for emergency response vehicles equipped to handle threats emergency personnel could encounter if the nation's war on terrorism escalates were unveiled Feb. 14, 2003 by 13 architecture students from Texas A&M University's College of Architecture.

Models and drawings for these "super ambulances" were on public display in room 202 of the Wisenbaker Engineering Research Center.

George Mann, the Ronald L. Skaggs Endowed Professor of Health Facilities Design, and studio leader of this project, said the students were asked to develop an emergency response vehicle that could handle some of the national security threats related to terrorism. As a result, the student-designed ambulances are equipped to deal with mass disasters resulting from bioterrorism, chemical warfare and other attacks with weapons of mass destruction. Additionally, the student designs enhance the functionality of the vehicles for routine emergencies.

The students have done extensive research on the vehicles, including taking ambulance rides with emergency technicians to observe and experience the ambulance from the patient's point of view and visiting the experimental ambulance being developed by the Texas Center for Applied Technology.

The project was a collaborative effort between architecture students and the Texas Center for Applied Technology within Texas A&M's Dwight Look College of Engineering, local paramedics, Texas A&M's College of Medicine faculty and students and the ER One Institute at the Washington Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

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