Lethbridge Fire and EMS work in the City of Lethbridge which is about 220 kilometres south-east of Calgary.
The latest markings on their ambulances display a fluorescent red waistline stripe with subordinate fluorescent yellow roofline and doorsill stripes. It can be challenging to design a red dominant scheme but Lethbridge have succeeded with an uncomplicated but elegant layout. Red marking schemes are often preferred by agencies working in snow regions. The waistline stripe incorporates a really unusual fine white line which splits the stripe on the cab in two but then drops to create two widely separated ECG complexes along a baseline. The dropped line allows PARAMEDIC UNIT in white to be written within the stripe. This is clever graphic design that transmits the EMS function to the viewer without overwhelming the safety message needed in a strong wide waistline stripe. Although the blue text facing forward is all upper case, it is sized to fit the vehicle and remains easy to read.
While the yellow stripes along the sides could be a little wider they remain in proportion to the profile of the ambulance. The reflective Lethbridge Fire & EMS text and the blue Star of Life on the sides are restrained in size but clearly legible on the large white groundspace of the patient care module. There do not appear to be white vertical reflective corner markings on the module or any A or B pillar contour stripes along the cab but these could all be easily added at any time. Red and yellow chevrons on the rear cover only two thirds of the module and doors leaving room for text. Overall a job well done and the Lethbridge team should be congratulated for an excellent marking scheme.
Please feel free to comment and add your thoughts.
We were surprised to find this article in 2017, we knew nothing about it. This was a modest re-design of our ambulance graphics, mandated to us by new standards for Ambulance Operators by Alberta Health Services. Our previous ambulances were essentially like a photographic negative of what you see here, with all the white being previously red, and vice versa. The white, and fluorescent green reflective striping were all mandated as to position and size by Alberta Healths’ graphic standards, as was the amount of “operator chosen” custom colors, we were not allowed to exceed a certain percentage of our color on the white background. Thanks for the article though!
Jack Peacock, Firefighter, Lethbridge Fire Department