For a busy urban system such as New York City it is not uncommon to post ambulances on street corners away from their station. In order to regulate the temperatures and power the onboard radios and computer it becomes necessary to idle the ambulance. This has in fact been the practice of New York City since sometime in the 1980s. Unfortunately this practice adds to both fuel costs, noise pollution, and tends to upset the people who live or work around your Cross Street Location (CSL) that you post at.
A recent inquiry to Gothamist asking How Do I Get Rid Of Ambulances Idling Outside My Apartment? illustrates the typical kind of complaints that come in from the public. To help alleviate these issues, and to save money on fuel, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) announced in February a pilot program for charging stations to be installed at ambulance CSLs. The program, which will require both equipment upgrades and dedicated parking spaces for ambulances, has yet to set a start date.
The one thing the video seems to omit is whether or not the air conditioning/heat will work while the ambulance is parked and not idling. Environmental controls are important for both the crew and for the medical supplies being carried onboard. Having a way to power the computer, radios, and charging your equipment while not idling is great indeed. Having a Stryker Power Load system installed really kicks the standard up a notch. Unfortunately, not being able to run the heater or air conditioner makes this a spring/fall only “green” vehicle.*
At least it’s a start.
*UPDATE 5/2/16: According to this comment from Paul Power (presumably of Northwell), the ambulance will be able to run their HVAC system without having the engine running. This effectively makes this a year-round solution to the idling issue.