The first VanSafe light commercial accreditation has been awarded by the Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) to Medicall Ambulance Service.
Presented at the FTAI National Council meeting today, VanSafe is a bespoke accreditation for the operators of commercial and passenger vehicles below 3.5 tonnes. At present such vehicles are not subject to the more onerous regulations required of heavier vehicles, but are used extensively – approximately 89 per cent of commercial vehicles in Ireland fall into this category.
On presenting the accreditation FTA Ireland General Manager Business Services – Aidan Flynn said: “Medicall Ambulance has worked through the development and pilot phase of the accreditation, and we are delighted to announce today that they have achieved the FTAI VanSafe standard. They have now set the benchmark in compliance for van fleet operators in Ireland.
“Driver hours and roadworthiness regulations are currently not as onerous on van operators as they are on bus and HGV operators, butMedicall has demonstrated how it manages its drivers and vehicles with the highest operation and road safety standards, and they must be commended for this.”
VanSafe has been introduced by FTAI primarily to raise standards within the industry, improve the perception of vans and light commercial vehicles and enhance the reputation of organisations operating van fleets.
Commenting on receiving the VanSafe accreditation – Andrew Lyle, Operations Director – Medicall Ambulance Service said: “As operators of a fleet of 3.5 tonne van-conversion ambulances, we are delighted to be the first FTAI VanSafe accredited member in Ireland. As an ambulance service provider safety is all important to us, and recognise that the road transport element of patient care represents a risk. We have been searching for an accreditation particular to van operators to benchmark ourselves against for some time.
“Achievement of this standard allows us to demonstrate to all our patients and client healthcare facilities that when they are placing that most precious of ‘cargo’ – a human being – in our hands they are travelling with an ambulance service who has been independent and transparently assessed and found to be ‘on a par’ with the safest anywhere in these islands.
“I would like to thank all of the Medicall Ambulance crews for their commitment to this project, and the FTA Ireland team for their support and advice.”