The kids had a grand time on our field trip to Louisville Metro EMS. They got to see where all the medical supplies that stock ambulances were stored, including rows and rows of oxygen tanks.
But most importantly (for a toddler), they got to go inside of an actual ambulance!
Rocket being lifted into the ambulance.
While they were inside, the paramedic informed me that my boy had climbed into the driver’s seat and I had better go get him. Uh oh!
I reminded him that we had to follow their rules while we were here, but empathized with his curiosity and exploratory nature!
To distract him while the other kids were finishing up inside the ambulance, we walked around the building.
Showing Rocket what the stretchers look like before they fold out into beds like the one he saw inside the ambulance.
He was also pretty excited about this:
He’s never had candy out of these quarter machines before. He was more interested in the gears and mechanics of the candy dispensers than what was actually inside.
Some things I learned on our trip to the Louisville Metro EMS:
- They clean the ambulances after every use.
- They never stop twice. They are on one call until the patient inside the ambulance is dropped off at the hospital and the vehicle is cleaned again.
- They have an ambulance bus that is sent out for incidents where many people may be injured (i.e. a school bus accident). Usually, patients inside the ambulance bus only have minor injuries.
- I asked what their busiest times are. The answer was from 9 AM until 11 PM! Broad answer, but I guess that’s the busy life of a paramedic.
- I asked when the busiest time of year is. The answer was during the summer. And apparently many of the calls they get start with people having too much too drink!
At home, we did lots of “playing ambulance.”
With the blocks, we built houses and a bigger building to be the hospital. Then we did a lot of pretend play, loading worry dolls from their houses onto the ambulance to take them to the hospital.
Rocket came up with several ideas for why they needed an ambulance. One man lost his leg. One woman was sick.
As we played, I emphasized that most situations involving injuries/illnesses can be safely handled at home and only in true emergency situations do people need to call an ambulance.
The invitation for our ambulance play time: an ambulance, soft foam blocks, worry dolls, and our Emergency book turned to the page about ambulances.
As he played, I took out another ambulance we have. He gave it a good, long look, and decided he didn’t like it anymore. I asked him if he wanted to give it away (I do this with many toys when he loses interest- to clear space in our house as well as to encourage generosity and giving). He said yes and chose which of his friends he wanted to have it.
The kids are getting so much out of these fun outings to places around town. I love how the information given is appealing to older kids (and even adults- seriously, I’m loving these trips myself!), but that the experiences are also very hands-on for young learners (like getting inside an actual ambulance).
Be sure to check out other toddler-friendly field trips we’ve gone on here!