American LaFrance Introduces the Sprinter Ambulance From MedicMaster

New, Type II Ambulance Excels in Functionality, Efficiency, Performance

NEW ORLEANS…American LaFrance today introduced the Sprinter ambulance from MedicMaster. Available through American LaFrance dealers, the new, type II ambulance offers distinct advantages in ergonomics, safety, fuel economy and performance to emergency service operators. The vehicle was unveiled at the Fire/Rescue International 2001 Show here.

“The Sprinter ambulance from MedicMaster incorporates features and functionality never before available to Type II ambulance operators,” said Don Stewart, President of American LaFrance Corporation. American LaFrance’s MedicMaster division builds MedicMaster ambulances and RescueMaster rescue vehicles for the fire and emergency service industry.

The Sprinter ambulance from MedicMaster is built from the Class 2-3 Sprinter commercial van. Produced by Mercedes-Benz since 1995, the Sprinter recently became available to the North American market as a Freightliner-make vehicle.

According to Stewart, the Sprinter’s size, configuration and feature and component mix make it the ideal choice for Type II ambulance operators.

The vehicle’s all-steel raised roof provides 72 inches of interior headroom. With these interior dimensions, there is no need for the typical after-market fiberglass roof that can leak and cause rust. The Sprinter also features full-height rear doors and a low loading height -- for easy and safe access to the working compartment.

The driver compartment is likewise roomy and highly functional. Crews will welcome the abundant head, shoulder and leg room as well the highly adjustable seats. The driver will appreciate the automobile-style instrument and control layout, which is intuitive and easy to reach. Sprinter also has a low interior noise level -- intended to reduce operator fatigue and improve interior communication. A central heating and cooling system keeps crew and passengers comfortable in all kinds of weather conditions.

As Type II ambulances often operate in hectic urban and suburban environments, the Sprinter ambulance is optimized for safe operation. The vehicle provides excellent visibility through a large windshield. It also is easy to steer with a tight turning radius for excellent maneuverability in crowded alleys or congested urban streets. Other safety features include standard four-wheel disc brakes for quick, more controlled stopping and energy-absorbing body panels and interiors. Driver- and passenger-side air bags are standard.

Operators will appreciate the Sprinter’s excellent efficiency. At the core of the Sprinter is an in-line 5-cylinder Mercedes-Benz diesel engine, delivering superb fuel economy. Linked with an advanced 5-speed automatic transmission, the engine responds like a gasoline-powered V8 while delivering the economy and longevity of diesel.

Performance is not sacrificed for efficiency with the Sprinter ambulance from MedicMaster -- usable payload exceeds 3,500 pounds. The vehicle’s dual rear wheel axle enables its high payload capacity while also delivering maximum stability.

The engine and other components feature long maintenance intervals, giving this vehicle a very low overall cost per mile of operation. Operators also will benefit from the vehicle's electrical system, which provides real time on-board diagnostics with MedicMaster's 100% solid state, multiplex system. This system eliminates circuit breakers, electro-mechanical relays and other components prone to wear and failure. Load shedding and voltage management are incorporated and customers can specify multiple levels of control. System control is provided by a digital display screen. This display eliminates switch clutter in the cab console. Customers get an ambulance with a user-friendly, reliable, electrical system that is simple to maintain.

The Sprinter ambulance from MedicMaster is available with a full array of shelving and cabinet configurations, warning lights and audible alarms. MedicMaster also offers a full line of emergency medical supplies and equipment to outfit the vehicle.

“The Sprinter ambulance from MedicMaster combines the best of commercial van and emergency service equipment technology,” Stewart said. “We believe that this unique vehicle establishes a new benchmark for Type II ambulances.”

American LaFrance, a subsidiary of Freightliner LLC, produces and distributes a comprehensive line of fire and emergency apparatus including chassis, aerials, ambulances, pumpers, rescues, tankers, and wildland vehicles. American LaFrance also offers factory-installed fire pumps, emergency medical products, and fire and rescue equipment.

Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, produces and markets Class 3-8 vehicles under the Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star, American LaFrance, Thomas Built Buses and Orion Bus nameplates. Freightliner is a DaimlerChrysler Company, the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.

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