The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 October 13 to extend the exemption from a spare wheel requirement for North County Fire Protection District ambulances.
The exemption, which also covered 15 other fire protection and emergency medical service agencies and three ambulance companies, will be effective for the period of January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2011.
Although the California Code of Regulations requires that ambulances carry spare wheels of appropriate load rating as well as tools for wheel changes, the California Vehicle Code authorizes the California Highway Patrol to grant exemptions for up to two years upon request from a county’s board of supervisors.
The exemption from the spare wheel requirement allows ambulances to carry additional medical supplies and equipment.
In the event an ambulance has a flat tire, the closest available back-up ambulance is dispatched, minimizing the delay in a patient’s transport while ensuring the availability of equipment in the initial ambulance.
The previous exemption was approved by the board of supervisors in December 2007 and was scheduled to expire on December 31.
The initial two-year exemption was approved in January 2002, and extensions were also approved in December 2003 and December 2005.