Having proven the value of off-road specialty vehicles adapted for use as ambulances in military and congested urban settings, Ohio-based Alternative Support Apparatus (ASAP) is preparing to make its move into the industrial emergency response market.
“We can go places most people can’t even think about,” said Jason Johnson, ASAP national sales manager. “We can go anywhere.”
The concept is simple. Take the 60-inch wide chassis for a six-wheel drive Polaris Ranger 6x6 all-terrain vehicle. ASAP uses proprietary changes to the chassis to accommodate a fully equipped aluminum patient compartment and an increased 3,000- pound weight capacity.
“Our MedStat ambulance is patented,” Johnson said. “Nobody else can put a patient compartment on the back of an ATV or UTV.”
ASAP manufactures three main product lines – the MedStat ambulance, the Wildfire fire fighting/rescue vehicle and the Select Series Flatbed, all utilizing the Polaris 6x6 chassis. Of the three ASAP product lines, the MedStat is the best seller.
The MedStat itself comes in three basic models — MS 100, MS 250 and MS 500 — that range from a basic entry level product to a fully loaded high-end version. All these models come with an extensive list of options.
Regardless of the ASAP conversion, all warranties issued with the original Polaris remain valid.
“We can carry a patient and four other people in the unit at one time,” Johnson said. “In a mass casualty situation, we can put up to four stretchers or Stryker cots in the unit using a rack.”
In independent testing done at the Transportation Research Center, a fully loaded MedStat was tested on a tilt table to 24 degrees and slope climbed to a maximum of 31 degrees. The unit passed all braking tests with no problems.
ASAP built 54 MedStat ambulances for use by the Air Force in mass casualty situations. ASAP custom ambulances are also in use in cities such as New Orleans and Cleveland to negotiate crowded streets during public events.
“I wanted to let you know what an invaluable vehicle ASAP was to our division of EMS during special event coverage,” said Nicole Oliver, commissioner of operations for the Department of Public Safety in Cleveland, OH.
ASAP is further adapting ATVs to different industrial purposes, including “mod kits” for fire fighting, Johnson said.
“It can carry an additional 2,500 pounds of payload,” Johnson said. “We have a version that comes with a dump bed. It’s a pretty diverse vehicle. Beside patient caring capabilities, you can have fire fighting or emergency response support as well. We’ve got a little bit of everything.”
At least one auto plant in the southern U.S. is already using the MedStat for a variety of emergency needs, including fire fighting. ASAP has experimented with a fire fighter version equipped with a 150-gallon water tank.
MedStat comes with low or high pressure systems as well as dual foam capability utilizing Class A and B foam at prices much lower than traditional equipment.
“Everybody has their own unique requirements for them,” Johnson said. “MedStat can even come equipped with air conditioning and heating.”
The Polaris 6x6 chassis comes with an 800cc electronic fuel injected 40HP engine with on-demand six-wheel drive and independent suspension. It can travel at speeds up to 40 mph. ASAP upgrades the electrical with a new independent system throughout fed by deep cycle batteries.
“We offer access straight to a 4,000 watt generator,” Johnson said. “The vehicle has outlets where you can just plug your stuff into the power source.”
In terms of price, a MedStat is far cheaper than purchasing a pickup truck and adding a modular unit in back, Johnson said. This summer, ASAP plans to introduce a lease purchase plan.
“Every major plant should have one of these,” Johnson said.