Operational Medicine Medical Education and Training

Loading and Unloading the M997 HMMWV Ambulance

This video was produced by the US Army as a training aid for their medics..

It shows the safe techniques for loading and unloading the M997 Ambulance.

The video clip may be freely downloaded.
Free Version Runtime 14:30
11 MB wmv
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 Loading and Unloading the M997 HMMWV Ambulance

This ambulance is built on a HUMVEE frame and is equipped with Kevlar armor protection for the crew and patients. The armor protection is relative, not absolute. It is somewhat effective against low-speed fragments. It is relatively ineffective against high velocity small arms fire and not at all effective against mines.

The M997 is capable of transporting:

  • 4 litter patients, or

  • 2 litter and and 4 ambulatory patients, or

  • 8 ambulatory patients.

The sequence of loading litter patients is right (passenger side) first, then left (driver side). The sequence is:

  • Top right

  • Bottom right

  • Top left

  • Bottom left

The most seriously injured is always loaded last and taken out first. This means that when the back of the ambulance is opened, the most seriously injured patient will always be on the left (driver side) and is the one removed first.

Patients are normally loaded head-first into the ambulance. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Oxygen equipment, when available, is located at the front of the vehicle

  • Patients are less likely to become nauseated if riding head first.

  • In the event of a rear-end collision, it is safer.

There are some exceptions to the general rules listed here.

  • Patients with chest or abdomen wounds, and those recieving IV fluids should be loaded in the lower racks, to facilitate IV fluid flow and attention en route by medical personnel.

  • Those with wounds to one side of the body should be positioned (feet first, if necessary) so that medical personnel have access to the wound.

  • If patients are being picked up from several locations, the ambulance shouldn't be unloaded and reloaded just to maintain the severity of illness hierarchy. Just do the best you can and let the receiving facility know who the most seriously wounded are.

From Operational Medicine 2001


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