An ambulance station typically contains a vehicle and equipment storage area, crew care and sleeping areas, and a communications room. Some stations will also have office space, a training area, and a conference room. In rural areas, which rely on volunteers, the ambulance station may have only a garage for vehicle and equipment storage.
The vehicle and equipment storage area of an ambulance station typically contains a bay for each ambulance. Lining the walls of these garages will be basic equipment that can be used for vehicle upkeep and repair. This area would also contain cleaning supplies for decontamination of the vehicle following a call. Each bay is usually much larger than the vehicles to allow for safe and speedy movement within the garage when the crew is responding to a call.
Equipment used by the ambulance station is usually stored in a space adjacent to the garage area and is often referred to as the supply room. The location of the supply room allows for easy replacement of supplies and broken equipment in the trucks. Typically windowless, the supply room is always locked securely to prevent equipment and medications from being stolen. Often there is also a lockable medicine cabinet for storing drugs.
In the ambulance station, the areas for crew sleeping and care usually include one or two bunk rooms, a kitchen, and bathrooms with showers. In addition, most ambulance stations have a lounge area with couches, a television, and games. When awaiting a call and not out driving around, the crew can sleep, prepare meals together, and relax.
Most ambulance stations, especially new facilities, will have a highly technical communication room. In this room, incoming emergency calls are received, recorded, and the optimal responses are determined by the communications officer. This area also has a computer to monitor the locations of each vehicle. The communication officer manning this room is able to talk to the caller and to the crews in the station or to crews out in the community.
Larger ambulance station also often have office space for the station’s directors and crew supervisors. An additional administrative area may be set aside for filing paperwork associated with calls or for billing health care companies or patients. A station may also have an area for training or for meetings. The versatility of this room is usually maintained by using folding tables and chairs that can be pushed aside to create open spaces for training.
Small rural areas, using volunteer crews, may have much more primitive stations. As the crews are called to the station from their homes, the station does not need sleeping quarters, a kitchen, or lounge. These facilities may simply house the ambulances and the supplies.