Seewald + Seewald Fahrzeugtechnik has specialized in emergency vehicles and services related to such vehicles since 2007. Seewald Alternative Mobility (SAM) is a project with Polaris.
If so, then do it right: Seewald + Seewald specializes in the configuration of rescue vehicles. That is why Polaris has entered into a partnership with the company, because they need capable resources, especially in the area of so-called “first responders”. Because these “first rescue workers” on site – they usually follow the emergency call of the first aiders – often face challenges in the face of hard-to-reach places. An ambulance, for example, would easily sink in on a sandy beach, get stuck in a wooded area or be unable to reach areas of mass events. Seewald + Seewald based its new vehicle on the standard for rescue vehicles according to DIN-ISO 1789 – “Classification of emergency vehicles”. Partners on board are the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW) and the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (H-DA). Through intensive discussions with experts and employees of rescue associations, their needs were precisely analyzed and included in the development.
During a successful test run with prototypes in 2010 and 2011 in a total of eleven deployments at major events such as Rock am Ring or the Fisherman’s StrongmanRun, the vehicle passed its baptism of fire during a disaster control exercise on the island of Wangerooge. There are three SAM on the way so far. In 2013 and 2014, the further development was pushed forward again. The Chamber of Crafts / Hessen Agency provided funding for this. The main objective of the further development was the “swap body principle”. This should be set up in such a way that a single person can manage the operation without any help or specialist knowledge. The new vehicle should also be simple and easy to repair. The waiver of electrical helpers was also consciously incorporated into the planning. After all, what use is the best electronics if they fail and the vehicle is in rough terrain.
Fully equipped and upgraded
What advantages does SAM now offer compared to the previously commercially available rescue vehicles and converted ATVs. First of all, it should be emphasized that the vehicle in the patient room almost corresponds to a normal ambulance, which is very important in the area of emergency vehicles. SAM was specially developed for rescue operations in difficult terrain and in closed structures such as industrial plants. Similar rescue vehicle concepts for the off-road sector have so far not been able to guarantee adequate observation by medical specialists. This is ensured by the seat at head height of the patient transported lying down. The patient can also be reached through a door on the side of the patient. Fixing points of the carrying support were mounted on a cargo rail and can be removed if necessary, for example to insert eyelets for material transport. The stretcher is a sliding stretcher common in the rescue service. A spine board used for rapid rescue is also carried on this.
In addition to the head part of the stretcher, there are various mounting options for e.g. a monitoring monitor, ventilator, oxygen and EKG, as well as a 12 volt connection for EKG / etc. available. Behind the tested escort seat of the Schnierle company (with 3-point belt), a shelf was installed to hold emergency cases and bags. There is also enough space for disposable slings and straps. The LED light in the interior is warm wave. With normal LED light it is very difficult to see blue tones. In the case of wounded, however, it is very important, for example to detect bruises and discoloration of the skin. The flap at the rear is generously dimensioned and takes up its entire width. The gas pressure damper swings gently upwards. All cavities created by the structure were used consistently and offer additional storage space to accommodate the appropriate operational equipment. The entire structure consists of aluminum tube and aluminum plates to reduce weight.
The entire structure can be removed by a single person. For this purpose, a hydraulic scissor mechanism (lifting scissors) was designed to lift the cabin, which rests on an additional mounting frame. The slide rail attached to it consists of PE / PP. The scissor lift is operated by a manually operated hydraulic pump. To do this, the unlocking mechanism only has to be removed, then the entire structure is lifted and 4 supports are inserted into the corresponding receptacles, then lowered again a little and the entire structure stands on its own. The Ranger can then be moved out from under the superstructure, for example to mount a cargo floor on it. So you can react quickly to changing needs / purposes. The structure can also be removed quickly for service work.
With the SAM, Seewald + Seewald has succeeded in creating a small and agile rescue vehicle. This need not shy away from comparison with conventional rescue vehicles. The vehicle is unrestricted and fully off-road and operational. Thanks to the close cooperation with Polaris, this is certainly not the last vehicle of this type that we will see from the company from Griesheim. We would also like to mention that despite these renovation measures, the Polaris guarantee does not expire, but remains in full for the end customer. The Ranger can also be serviced at any local Polaris dealer.
Text: Erik Pohl Photos: Fabian Lober / Seewald + Seewald