NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - In an emergency, every second counts. And in a jam-packed Times Square, squeezing through traffic in a big ambulance slows down first responders' arrival time.
"We're dealing with increased street closures and pedestrian foot traffic," FDNY Captain Evan Suchecki said.
The delay could be life-threatening. Cue the ASAP vehicle. The FDNY's new vehicle is designed to get to Times Square as soon as possible, but the name actually stands for alternative support apparatus. The truck is 8 feet tall and 5 feet in width, as compared to a normal ambulance, which is 9 feet tall and 8 feet wide.
"This can provide every type of treatment that a standard ambulance is coming in with and has all the same equipment," Suchecki said.
The ASAP is Suchecki's brainchild. He helped design the truck specifically to fit the needs of the FDNY. While it is a little more than half the size of a regular ambulance, it has all the same functions.
"In the back, we have a full-size patient stretcher," he said. "It is the same standard stretcher as would be on an ambulance."
ASAP is six-wheel drive, all-terrain truck capable of handling all types of weather conditions. The only thing is doesn't do is transport the patient to the hospital.
"This ensures that we're there, we provide what's needed, and we give the incoming ambulance a slight buffer," Suchecki said.
Launched just this past December, two ASAP vehicles are now in Times Square seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Suchecki said they will also be on hand for upcoming special events, such a parades and the Fourth of July fireworks.
"We're doing everything we can to ensure that we get to the patient, we provide patient care, and that we're doing that in a timely fashion," he said.