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Emergency Vehicle Solutions: Division of AEP North America

Written by John Bellah

Emergency Vehicle Solutions (EVS) is one of the leading emergency vehicle equipment suppliers and upfitters in Northern California. EVS supplies 80 public safety agencies in a six-state area. Additionally, EVS performs upfitting for 45 public safety agencies in California, from as far north as the Oregon state line, to as far south as Bakersfield. Some of the Northern California agencies who use EVS to upfit their vehicles include the cities of Mountain View, Menlo Park, Half Moon Bay and San Ramon.

The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) has used EVS to partially upfit its vehicles for the past 11 years, at the rate of two vehicles per week. The SFPD has EVS install the lightbars, sirens, push-bumpers and security cages, while the city’s Central Shops complete the upfitting by installing computer and communications gear and marking it with decals.

While its main focus is upfitting police patrol vehicles, EVS has the capability to upfit custom vehicles such as K-9, command and supervisor, “slicktop” and undercover vehicles. They also upfit non-police vehicles, such as those for fire departments, public utilities and private security companies.

EVS is a master supplier of Setina push-bumpers and prisoner partitions; Code 3/PSE, Whelen, Federal Signal, SoundOff Signal and Rontan emergency lighting; Unitrol lighting controllers; Santa Cruz, Big Sky and Pro-gard weapons racks; Aedec/ProStraint, Laguna Manufacturing and Bear Products prisoner seats; Kustom Signals radar; and Data911 computer systems. Other supplies include products from TruckVault, Troy Products, JottoDesk and Havis-Shield.

In addition to equipment sales and vehicle upfitting, EVS also troubleshoots, diagnoses and repairs existing vehicular equipment. This includes lighting equipment, such as lightbars and siren/PA systems, radar devices and even radar trailers. EVS also does repair work, regardless of whether the equipment was installed by EVS or by another upfitter.

EVS has been upfitting public safety vehicles for 35 years. They upfit about 500 vehicles annually, with 350 of those being police vehicles. With 16 employees on the payroll, they can completely upfit a police sedan in three days. They are willing to work with the individual agencies, which is important with today’s reduced budgets. They also offer “turn-key” vehicles—in both Ford and Dodge models where the car is completely ready for duty. Add the weaponry, a box of flares, the officer’s duty bag, and a fresh cup of coffee in the cup-holder, and the unit is 10-8.

EVS’s in-house leasing program is also very attractive to agencies with reduced budgets. Its rates are competitive with California’s Department of General Services, which also leases vehicles to state agencies. One advantage to their “Full Turn-key Leasing Program” is that if the vehicle is totaled in a collision, they will replace the wrecked vehicle with another fully-outfitted vehicle almost immediately.

With vehicle electrical systems becoming more and more complex, EVS utilizes Patrol Power wiring harnesses. These harnesses are custom designed and are available to fit most vehicles currently used in police service. All wiring is also color-coded and labeled for uniformity. To ensure reliability, all connections that are mechanically crimped either meet or exceed Underwriter’s Laboratory specifications for individual wire sizes.

All wiring consists of premium SXL (cross-linked polyolefin-insulated) wiring which meets or exceeds SAE #J-1128 and MIL #T-5438. This means that the insulation is able to withstand the high underhood temperatures that modern cars generate, not to mention the extreme temperatures that police service can produce with extended idle periods generated by traffic stops, working accidents or HVAC needs in inclement weather.

The fuse access panels are custom-manufactured for each vehicle, so sheet metal does not have to be cut for the installation. Depending on the application, control/fuse panels can be mounted under the hood, under the dash or in the trunk. Thumb-screws attach the protective cover over the panel, which can be removed without tools if service is needed out in the field.

Patrol Power also offers a ground-loop lead from the control panel to the console. An optional switch can be installed in the ground-loop lead, which can immediately disable the power tamer and further reduce battery drain when the vehicle is not operating. There is also a 300 amp relay and adjustable timer to automatically shut off the power when the engine is turned off.

Other features include standardized connections for “plug and play” installation of components. The siren resistor plug is mounted on the exterior of the control panel, which allows testing and diagnosis of the siren without excessive noise. This is important if the facility is near a residential area or if the testing and/or diagnostic procedures are conducted in an enclosed facility.

Guy Reimche, former president of EVS, currently serves as a territory manager for EVS. A retired police sergeant, Reimche is a huge asset for the company. One of his duties during his 12 years in police fleet management was todevelop specifications for, and supervise the upfitting of, his department’s vehicles.

Reimche noted that in today’s economy, many agencies are taking a close look at reconditioning and recycling equipment, such as transferring lightbars from their older vehicles onto new vehicles, instead of purchasing new equipment. Unless problems are spotted, LED light bars are simply cleaned up and transferred over. The older lightbars with strobe and Halogen bulbs are reconditioned, and new lenses are installed.

Recently, EVS was acquired by Soncell North America and is now part of AEP North America, which also includes AEP Arizona, AEP California, AEP Colorado, AEP New Mexico, AEP Nevada, AEP Utah, Auto Additions, and TW Engineering. This merger combines the technology, resources and expertise of the leading installation facilities in North America to deliver maximum value to the customer.

John Bellah is the Technical Editor of Police Fleet Manager and retired corporal with the California State University, Long Beach Police. He may be reached via e-mail at jbellah@csulb.edu.

Published in Police Fleet Manager, Nov/Dec 2009

Rating : 10.0


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