Ambulance laptops

In the summer of 2004 the Lawrence County Emergency Planning Commission gave laptops and GPSs to the two ambulance services in our county to aid with locating patients. This also included ThinkMap software which includes our county's Enhanced 911 data. We can type in an address and the ThinkMap program will show the location on a map. The laptops will also be handy for writing run reports.

Here is a view of the laptop in Ambulance 1. We used heavy duty articulating mounts from Jotto Desk.

Because of the articulating mounts the laptops are easily accessible from the passenger....

...or the driver...

...or the laptop can be positioned vertically out of the way.

Here is the Garmin GPS V which sends GPS data to the laptop for positioning.

The installation was not problem free. The GPS V's communicate with the laptops via the serial port. The laptops provided had no serial port so we had to purchase USB-to-serial adapters. These adapters don't work that great. Also, the GPS V's come with a data cable and a power cable. However, you can only use one at a time so we had to buy combination power and data cables.

The GPS V units seem to be very finicky about acquiring satellites. I have one and it's the same way. We're thinking about getting USB GPS receiver antennas and scrapping the GPS V's and the USB/serial adapters.

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