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By: Frazer on May 6, 2024

Choosing Between Standard and Door Forward Ambulance Configurations: What You Need to Know

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Choosing the right ambulance configuration is a crucial decision for emergency medical service providers, with factors like layout and design impacting efficiency and patient care. Among the most debated choices is whether to opt for a standard layout or a door-forward configuration in an ambulance.

Understanding the differences and weighing the pros and cons of each can help EMS agencies make informed decisions that best suit their operational needs. In this blog post, we’ll go into the nuances of both layouts, highlighting their respective advantages and considerations to help you navigate this critical decision-making process.

The main difference between a standard and a door forward ambulance configuration is simply the placement of the entry door. In a standard configuration, the door is typically just ahead of the wheel well, while in a door forward setup, it’s located at the front passenger side corner of the body.

The advantages of a door-forward layout include an ergonomic working environment, with space for medication preparation and assistance to medical personnel working on the patient. Additionally, having the door forward helps in managing the busy area near the entrance, allowing someone to monitor traffic and interactions while patient care happens at the rear, away from the door. Customers often prefer the door-forward setup for these reasons.

Compare the differences below:



  • Enhanced ergonomic layout for medical personnel.
  • Convenient space for medication preparation and assistance near the front and out of the way.
  • Allows for someone to monitor traffic and interactions near the entrance while patient care is ongoing at the rear.


  • May require adjustment for personnel accustomed to standard layouts.
  • Potentially limited space near the entrance for certain equipment or procedures.



  • Familiar layout for many medical personnel, reducing learning curve.
  • Offers a consistent setup across different ambulances and manufacturers.


  • Limited ergonomic advantages compared to door-forward layouts.
  • Requires medical personnel to move further into the vehicle for medication preparation and assistance.
  • Higher likelihood of congestion near the entrance during patient care due to traffic and interactions.

Reach out to us today to configure your next ambulance build!

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