Power and fuel


Power and fuel

EMTs must ensure sufficient, safe, sustainable and context appropriate fuel, power supply and lighting for their facilities, clinical care and support services.

EMTs require reliable power and lighting. While solar power and other forms of renewable energy should be actively explored by EMTs, most will find they require some form of fuel supply to enhance their power generation capacity. In dealing with critical supplies in a resource constrained environment, EMTs must be aware of best practice in procurement of adequate quality fuel for their needs without negatively impacting supplies of other essential services and the local population.

  1. Calculate minimum and maximum power requirements.
  2. Capability to produce power in a consistent manner to match needs, with redundancy in case of failure or damage.
  3. Plan for surge requirement for items such as X-ray, sterilizers, air conditioners and the maximum load expected on the system.
  4. Power supply components should be safe, clearly marked with adequate interior and exterior electrical equipment, with sizes relevant to needs and adaptable to the context.
  5. Distribute power across the site of operation using weatherproof equipment (IP rating 45, 54 or 65) and all required safety measures, such as earth leakage, earth stakes or residual current device (RCD).
  6. Ensure critical uninterruptible power supply (UPS) battery back-up, breakdown procedures and enough spare electricity in the system to cope with possible failures for life saving equipment such as mechanical ventilators.
  7. Calculate and communicate daily fuel consumption calculations prior to deployment.
  1. All circuits, electrical cabling and boards must be rated for field use and be subjected to and certified for use by a qualified electrician.
  2. Power generation from renewable sources such as solar is encouraged but is highly unlikely to serve the needs of a 24-hour response by a large EMT.
  3. Power generators must be rated for use in field conditions and ideally buffered for noise.
  4. Explore all means possible to transport enough fuel and batteries to be operational as fast as possible.
  5. Capacity for checking fuel availability and quality and/or clean fuel using filters to ensure no damage occurs to equipment due to contaminated fuel.
  6. Consider safe management.

Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), propane and other flammable compressed gases may be required but can be in short supply locally or use different fittings. EMTs should consider other contingencies if LNG or similar fuels are unavailable.