The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Nov. 5 to extend the exemption from a spare wheel requirement for North County Fire Protection District ambulances.
The exemption, which also covers 13 other fire protection and emergency medical service areas and three ambulance companies, will be effective for the period of Jan. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2015.
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 based upon requests from a county’s Board of Supervisors. The exemption from the spare wheel requirement allows ambulances to carry additional medical supplies and equipment; if an ambulance has a flat tire the closest available backup ambulance is dispatched to minimize 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 2011 and was scheduled to expire on Dec. 31. The initial two-year exemption was approved in January 2002, and extensions were also approved in December 2003, December 2005, December 2007, and October 2009.