During my time at Action Manufacturing one of my biggest projects was the role of lead designer for the complete re-design of the St John Frontline Ambulance, the 'Gen 2.0'.
Packed with clever design features and an all new vehicle platform, the Gen 2.0 is now St John's primary Frontline Ambulance, deployed nation-wide with around 50 units being produced annually.
At the time of the redesign (2015/16) St John had been operating out of a Frontline 'box body' designed by Action 6 years prior. While the functionality of the design was great, the evolving requirements of paramedics and cost saving initiatives from St John, made it the perfect time for a full redesign and the implementation of a new, modern design.
Initially I started with concept sketches and renders to pitch the idea of a redesign to St John. The initial interest in the concept was positive, particularly the health & safety of paramedics, reduction in vehicle cost, and a more efficient vehicle layout. Over the following 18 months the design was refined and a prototype unit was built early 2016. This was put into service around New Zealand with feedback coming from an extremely wide audience of paramedics, patients, St John management, fleet management, engineers and production staff.
The first prototype was greatly received with paramedics praising the efficient use of space and a safer working environment. The design was revised based on internal and external feedback, production grade fibreglass mouldings were tooled and full scale production commenced.
My role in this project was pivotal. From pitching the project with concept drawings and rendering, working directly with paramedics and engineers, to 3D CAD modeling fibreglass tooling and designing machined parts. I was also involved with production ensuring the factory team had jigs for assembly and continuous improvements were heard, developed and actioned.
The project has been a great success gaining a lot of attention both nationally and internationally. The improved ergonomics, greatly reduced health & safety risks, space efficiency, design features and added technology help paramedics operate in a safe and efficient work environment while in life treating situations.