The Irish Red Cross has taken delivery the first Irish-built van conversion ambulance to receive approval in accordance with the requirements of European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) legislation.
The Irish Red Cross’ ambulance was built on an all-wheel-drive 2.2 Litre Ford Transit 350 van supplied by Kelly Commercials of Limerick, and was converted to an ambulance by Wilker Auto Conversions Ltd. of Clara, Co. Offaly. In order to meet the requirements of type approval, the completed ambulance underwent a two-stage inspection process. Stage one consisted of a comprehensive review by the NSAI of all documentation, technical drawings and data sheets for the vehicle and the associated conversion process. This was followed by a day of physical testing and inspection of the vehicle by the NSAI, which was conducted on-site at Wilker Auto Conversions’ plant. The successful outcome of this testing was the issue of an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) Certificate for the vehicle, the first such certificate issued in Ireland for a van-conversion ambulance.
With a fleet of 142 vehicles nationwides, the Irish Red Cross provides first aid cover at numerous community, cultural and sporting events around the country. Cover at these events is provided by the organisation’s volunteer members who give freely of their own time, and are trained to national pre-hospital emergency care standards. In times of crisis such as recent flooding events, the Irish Red Cross has provided specialist support to the emergency services using its 26 off-road ambulances - the largest fleet of 4x4 ambulances of any ambulance provider in the State.
The new vehicle will be deployed in Limerick, where it will join a fleet of Irish Red Cross vehicles already in service. The Irish Red Cross is extremely active in Limerick City and County with over 200 members providing cover to an average of 180 events annually.