What is an ALS Ambulance Transport?

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An ALS ambulance transport or “Advanced Life Support” ambulance is a medical transport unit that has sophisticated medical equipment and drugs available for use by medical technicians who are trained in administering them to individuals in medical distress.  Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances, in contrast, carry medical technicians who are trained at a lower level than those on ALS ambulances. The medical equipment on board a BLS ambulance is also less sophisticated and advanced than that of ALS ambulances. An ALS ambulance can provide BLS support to patients as well as ALS measures as needed.



BLS can include the administration of oxygen, CPR, and the use of a bag-valve-mask to ventilate patients in respiratory distress among other things. ALS, in contrast can include tracheal intubation, cardiac monitoring and defibrillation, IV administration, and a host of other treatments and techniques that can significantly improve a patient’s chances of survival in certain situations. Many emergency ambulance calls can be dealt with effectively through BLS measures, but some emergency medical situations require the use of ALS measures and technicians who are skilled at performing ALS skills.


An ALS ambulance is appropriate for patients with complicated or especially traumatic injuries or illness. ALS providers are particularly skilled at diagnosing cardiac issues and developing a treatment plan to undertake in the pre-hospital setting before the patient reaches the emergency room. Technicians who are educated at the ALS level are able to administer a variety of medications such as adrenaline or atropine in order to promote a patient’s survival during cardiac emergencies. An ALS ambulance transport is the appropriate choice for patients who are especially ill or who have survived a traumatic injury and may need technologically sophisticated emergency care to promote their survival.

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