An Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Collection Of Space And Safety

January - May (17 WEEKS)
Deliverables: Collection Booklet, Presentation, Video


During a medical emergency, the first people on the scene are paramedics and emergency medical technicians. EMS’ main job is to provide patient care and transport to the hospital when needed. During the transport to the hospital, technicians continue their care of the patient and ensure their safety. However, what about the EMS’ safety? How does the layout of the ambulance play a role in this? The infrastructure in the ambulance does not effectively support the needs of the Emergency Medical Service technicians.



I began my research by looking into the medical field and quickly narrowed down my scope to paramedics and technicians within the EMS. I then conducted interviews and co-design sessions to understand the differences in how EMS operates. I created a collection of 80 concepts centered around safety and space inside the ambulance. These concepts are based on the feedback from technicians.




I conducted four sets of interviews to learn about how the EMS operates, and daily challenges technicians face while on the job. These interviews allowed me to gain insights and guided my trajectory throughout the project. I interviewed paramedics and technicians at IU Health-Bloomington and Owen County EMS.


In conjunction with my interviews, I held co-design sessions with multiple paramedics and EMTs. These co-design sessions helped to create a sense of trust between myself and the technicians while also working with the technicians on challenges that frustrate them while on the job.



Most problems are with physical equipment, not digital.

The amount of space in the cab is limiting and causes issues.

Safety practices in the back of the ambulance are required, but not followed due to the practices restricting EMS responsibilities.

Technicians need to be able to get all around the patient at all times.


Concept Generation


I focused on looking at the whole space of the ambulance. I am now focusing on creating around 80 concepts centered around:

  1. EMS Safety while working

  2. Cab space

Safety Sketches

The safety of the EMS is taken into consideration, but are rarely used because it interferes with them performing their job. I am looking into different opportunities to provide safety, that can be used, while on the job.

These are concepts centered around the safety of the technician in the back of the ambulance:

Space Sketches

Space in the cab is very limited. Throughout the cab buttons and equipment cover up other pieces of equipment. This affects how the driver and passenger engage with each other and perform their jobs.

Concepts centered around utilizing space more efficiently in thecab of the ambulance:


Iteration & Prototype

To evaluate my concepts, I showed different versions of concepts to EMS technicians at Owen County. I found that the safety concepts the technicians were most excited about revolved around chairs or harnesses connected to various places within the ambulance. For the concepts centered around the space in the ambulance, the technicians were most intrigued by concepts where the computer was able to be moved or pushed out of their way.

Safety Prototype Side-to-Side
Space Prototype Wireless Panel

Final Collection

<Come Back To>

This is a collection of 80 concepts. Within the collection, 40 concepts are centered around the safety of the EMS technicians and 40 are centered around the space inside the ambulance.


ADD PDF OF Collection


I Learned... useful it can be to utilize different methods during the design process. At the start of the project we were asked to use contextual inquiry as a main method, but we decided to incorporate 'What If...' cards into our process as well to gain more information into our iteration process. Along with using more than one method, I also learn how to add different effects to a video using Adobe After Effects.