What Are the Differences Between EMT and NEMT Vans?

Featured image of an EMT vs NEMT Van

Has your organization been researching EMT vehicles or NEMT vans and can’t figure out what the exact differences are between them? Choosing the wrong van and trying to use it outside of its purpose can cause delays in critical care and even potential harm to patients. It can result in financial strain for your organization, and regulatory headaches that can turn into a nightmare. 

At AVAN Mobility, we never want your organization to run into issues like these after investing a large chunk of money into a vehicle that’s supposed to be helping people. We’ve manufactured hundreds of mobile medical vans over the past decade, and we know how important it is to make the right choice the first time.

That’s exactly why we’re writing this article. We don’t want your organization to face regrets or buyer’s remorse. By the end of reading, we hope you’ll have a better idea between an EMT or NEMT van. 


What is an EMT van?

A specialized vehicle called an emergency medical transportation (EMT) van responds rapidly to urgent medical situations, such as accidents or sudden illnesses. Here’s what you need to know:

Quick response: EMT vans prioritize speed and quickly navigate through traffic to reach individuals in distress as quickly as possible. Every moment is critical when responding to someone’s health crisis.

Mobile emergency rooms: EMT vans are mobile emergency rooms that include specialized equipment to provide immediate care.

Specialized training: EMT van drivers and technicians undergo specific training to handle medical emergencies and effectively navigate challenging scenarios.

Distinctive features: EMT vans are easily identifiable by their sirens and flashing lights. These features are not for spectacle but to facilitate rapid movement through traffic.


What equipment do EMT vans have?

Take a look at the table below to see the specific equipment EMT vans contain for aiding in a variety of emergency situations.


Equipment Description
Oxygen supply Makes sure there’s always oxygen for patients having trouble breathing.
Medical kits Boxes with important supplies for treating wounds, putting on bandages, and doing basic medical care.
Stretchers Foldable beds for safely moving patients in the limited space of the van.
Diagnostic tools Instruments like machines to check blood pressure, measure oxygen levels, and take temperature for quick assessments.
Emergency medications Medicines are kept in the van for giving quickly during urgent situations.
Communication devices Radios and tools for talking and coordinating with hospitals and emergency services.
Advanced life support (ALS) equipment Special medical tools to manage breathing and supplies for putting medicine directly into veins.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) PPE like gloves, masks, and special clothing to keep the medical team safe.
Automated external defibrillator (AED) A machine that helps in heart emergencies by giving automated electric shocks.
Emergency lights and sirens Important for showing urgency and making it easier for the van to move fast through traffic during emergencies.


What is a NEMT van?


Medical Transfer Van / Non-Emergency Medical Transfer Van
Patent pending


Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) vans are like cousins to EMT vans, but they focus more on non-urgent medical needs. Let’s take a look at what’s involved.

Comfortable and supportive: NEMT vans offer a valuable alternative to ambulances for patient transfers. They provide a comfortable and supportive transport experience for people with non-urgent medical needs.

Scheduled and inclusive: Unlike EMT vans, NEMT vans are great for scheduled medical trips to make sure people reach appointments on time. The vans strengthen community ties by providing accessible and reliable transport for individuals with medical needs. This makes sure they can access necessary healthcare services conveniently.

Basic treatment space: Similar to EMT vans but simpler, NEMT vans can work as non-urgent care clinics. In some cases, they even become urgent care clinics, offering quick medical help and easing the load on busy emergency rooms. They act as quick medical service hubs to make healthcare more efficient.

Remote job site medical treatment: Using NEMT vans as mobile medical centers on remote work sites is a smart idea. They can quickly help injured workers before the official emergency teams get there to offer further medical support.


What equipment do NEMT vans have?

At AVAN Mobility, our NEMT vans have several features that make them perfect for providing non-urgent care and transportation.


Features Description
Aluminum cabinetry layouts These vans have well-organized storage made of strong aluminum. The shelves are durable and perfect for medical gear. These setups are made to last.
Designated storage systems NEMT vans are set up with specific places for medical gear, so there’s no need to search – everything is arranged and ready to use, as well as organized and easy to reach.
AutoFloor flexible floor system Think of a floor that can change. The AutoFloor system is flexible, making it easy to customize seating arrangements. It’s like having a floor that fits different needs.
Stretcher and attendant transport The vans are set up to carry stretchers and the people taking care of patients, ensuring a secure and comfy trip.
Power supply No need to worry about running out of power. These vans have a reliable power supply. This makes sure medical equipment keeps working without any problems. Always ready and trustworthy.
Rear heat & air conditioning No matter how hot or cold it is outside, these vans keep a comfortable temperature. Rear heat and air conditioning make a nice atmosphere for everyone inside.
Clean, comfortable environment With doors that open wide for easy access, the vans create a tidy and organized space inside. 
Additional options Going the extra mile with features like oxygen bottle holders for safe storage and a cab divider for patient privacy can also be included. 


Should you choose the EMT or NEMT van?

Deciding on an EMT or NEMT van is a bit like picking the right tool for the job in your organization.

For organizations focused on nothing but emergency care, the EMT van is the best choice. Think of it this way: You’re the quick-response team, ready to handle urgent medical situations. EMT vans rush to emergencies, helping transport individuals in critical conditions to the hospital. 

For those focusing on non-urgent care and transportation, the NEMT van is the better fit. Look at it like this:  You’re the reliable solution for someone who’s unwell but not in a life-or-death situation. NEMT vans shine in providing non-urgent support, and transportation for scheduled medical trips. 

They offer a comfortable and secure environment for individuals needing attention without the urgency. Think of someone recovering from a procedure or managing a chronic condition – that’s where the NEMT van steps in.

Your organization needs to consider if you’re going to be the rapid responder for emergency situations or the supportive companion for non-life-threatening health needs. Choosing between the EMT and NEMT van comes down to matching the vehicle with your organization’s primary focus – immediate response or non-urgent care.


What’s next?


AVAN Mobility's Mobile Response Unit rear entrance


You found this article while looking around for more information on EMT and NEMT vans. Now that you know more about the differences between them, we hope you have a better idea of which vehicle to go with. 

If you think you’re leaning towards a NEMT van, that’s exactly what we manufacture at AVAN Mobility. We call it the Mobile Response Van, and you can find more information about it in this article

Another question that some of our customers have when looking for a vehicle is the pros and cons of leasing a mobile medical van. Take a look at our article on that to learn more.

If you have any further questions, click the button below to contact a commercial mobility expert today.

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Quinn Springett



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