And things frequently go wrong. Ambulances are wired with dashboard computers, high-tech radios, navigation systems and phones -- all of which must be used by the EMTs while weaving in and out of traffic at top speed and blasting through stoplights like they're being chased by the Batmobile.
All of this adds up to a potentially chaotic driving experience, particularly when you consider that many drivers make no attempt to clear a path for rampaging emergency vehicles, because The Adventures of Tin-Tin starts in 15 minutes and goddamn if they're going to miss all the previews.
"If he doesn't move in three seconds, he becomes a passenger."
According to one study, EMTs in the United States have an estimated fatality rate of 12.7 per 100,000 personnel (more than double the national average), with the worst coming when riding in the patient compartment. Another study tallied the destruction caused by 339 ambulance crashes, totaling a shocking 405 fatalities and 838 injuries. That averages out to more than one person killed in every ambulance wreck. We're pretty sure goddamned jet packs are safer.