I got the chance to work with the emergency services and take an Skoda Octavia Estate Scout ambulance on a mock-up 999 response call. See what I learned below:
Skoda Octavia Estate Scout Ambulance
The car is an Skoda Octavia Estate Scout ambulance, it has a 2.0 TDi engine and 150 PS going to all four wheels. It has been modified to include external livery, lighting, and sirens. The Scout model is suitable for use as a quick response ambulance vehicle because of its spacious interior and its 4wheel drive. The Estate car includes a large boot that can be fitted with a cage to house all the necessary gear.
Is the Patient Breathing?
The ambulance needs to get to the scene as soon as possible and this requires a lot of effort to ensure the car and driver can get there on time. I tested the car down a snake-like pass to learn about its handling and be instructed on how to progress efficiently.
During the tuition, I learned that the emergency services’ road positioning is different from what we would call the racing line (the fastest way through the corners). They are trained to take the line with the best sight of the road, meaning that they take the corner at the maximum speed possible, taking into account all the visible risks. So it may not be the fastest speed but taking extra precautions means they can avoid road accidents and arrive at every call without endangering others.
The second thing I was taught by the professional instructor was not to carry too much speed into the corner. I was naturally inclined to take corners too fast, which led to the tyres slipping. This meant I was not very tight on the apex and this produced a slower lap time. I was taught to lose a lot more speed on the straights and corner at a lower speed. I was then tighter on the apex and was closer to the inside line of the corner. This was a lot safer and made for a better lap time.
After doing several runs with this vehicle, I was impressed with just how capable it was. You could feel all 150 PS of the power being put into play by the 4×4 drive system and I noted how fast this ambulance could go with the instructor’s help.
Special Requirements Met
Driving the Skoda Octavia Estate Scout to the limit gave me a whole new appreciation for the car. But the seriousness of the testing proves that emergency services cars have a higher level of requirements. They need to carry a lot of kit, be able to perform on a daily basis and more than anything, they need to be reliable. The Skoda Octavia Estate Scout is a great choice to meet the needs of the emergency services and demonstrates to the brand just how hard its cars are tested on a daily basis all over the country.