[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 49 (Monday, March 14, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13621-13623]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5733]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Opportunity to Partner; Testing of Patient Litters and Patient 
Restraints to Proposed Test Standard

    Authority: 29 U.S.C. 669.

AGENCY: NIOSH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),

[[Page 13622]]

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

ACTION: Notice of informational meeting and opportunity to partner.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 
(NIOSH), CDC, HHS, in collaboration with the National Truck Equipment 
Association, Ambulance Manufacturers Division (NTEA-AMD) has developed 
a series of proposed ambulance component test standards. One such 
standard, AMD STANDARD 004--Method for Conducting Litter and Litter 
Retention System Dynamic Test--Proposed (draft), seeks to improve 
patient and litter retention during crash conditions. As a part of the 
standard development process, NIOSH will be conducting a series of 
tests to evaluate existing, redesigned, and/or new litters to validate 
the test methods proposed. It is anticipated testing will be conducted 
in up to three phases over approximately 15 months. NIOSH will contract 
with an independent test facility and provide funding for all testing, 
instrumentation, data collection, and data analysis. Prospective 
industry partners will provide the test assets: Litters and litter 
retention devices. This project has three key goals: (1) To validate 
test and data collection methodologies proposed in AMD 004 (draft) to 
support standard development; (2) to support and facilitate the 
transition of the industry from the current litter design parameters to 
those proposed in SAE J2917 Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice, 
Occupant Restraint and Equipment Mounting Integrity--Frontal Impact 
System-Level Ambulance Patient Compartment, published May 2010, and SAE 
J2956 Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice, Occupant Restraint and 
Equipment Mounting Integrity--Side Impact System-Level Ambulance 
Patient Compartment (draft); and, (3) to develop the design and 
production ``cost-of-change'' to meet the proposed design parameters.

Dates and Times: March 23, 2011, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Eastern Standard Time 
(EST). March 24, 2011, 8 a.m.-12 noon, EST, by appointment. NIOSH is 
available to meet with individual companies for those interested in 
further discussion. We anticipate offering the prospective partners the 
opportunity to meet for 30 minutes, to ask specific questions pertinent 
to their situation.

ADDRESSES: Homewood Suites Indianapolis-Downtown, 211 South Meridian 
Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46225, Telephone (317) 636-7992. 
(Coincident with the 2011 Fire Department Instructors Conference 
(FDIC)).
    Letters of Interest: Interested manufacturers should submit a 
letter of interest with information about their capabilities and level 
of proposed participation to Jim Green at JGreen@cdc.gov. Letters of 
interest must be received by April 25, 2011.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NIOSH proposes a series of up to 48 tests to 
better understand the capabilities and limitations of currently 
available litters, investigate redesign or new design options, and 
validate the proposed test standard. As a byproduct of this effort, it 
is expected that NIOSH and its partners will be able to demonstrate 
that litters provided by partners meet the design parameters specified 
in AMD 004 (draft) and test requirements outlined in SAE J2917 and SAE 
2956 (draft), respectively.
    Prospective partners will be existing litter manufacturers 
nationally or internationally. A prospective partner need not be 
selling to the United States market at the time of this announcement.
    Prospective partners will be required to provide test assets 
(litters and mounting systems) free of charge in exchange for their 
participation in this collaborative standards development and 
validation effort. In return, NIOSH will cover all costs associated 
with testing. This includes the cost of the sled buck design and 
manufacture, rental of appropriate test manikins, instrumentation 
related to the litter, manikin, and sled buck, test execution, test 
data analysis, and cost data analysis.
    Given the nature of the proposed change, coupled with the cost for 
each unit, NIOSH anticipates the need to partner with more than one 
manufacturer. Therefore no one manufacturer should expect to be asked 
to contribute all needed test assets.
    In phase 1, test assets are expected to come from those in the 
existing product line per mutual agreement with NIOSH. In phases 2 and 
3, test assets are expected to be introduced as either redesigns of 
existing products or new products entirely based on the results of 
phase 1 testing. The cost of product redesign and manufacture for phase 
2 and 3 testing would be borne by the manufacturer partner(s).
    Each partner will be invited to participate at the site of testing 
(a third party independent test facility) during the testing of its 
product. However, at no time will representatives from two different 
manufacturers be present at the same time or on the same date. As a 
participant, each partner will be provided with a copy of all digital 
video and instrumented data for use in future product development. 
NIOSH will retain a copy of all data but will code, to the extent 
possible, to prevent release of vendor specific product data. Partners 
will retain ownership of each test asset and will be asked to retrieve 
test assets once each test has been completed. All shipping and/or 
disposal costs of test assets to and from the independent test facility 
will be borne by the manufacturer partner(s).
    Recognizing any change in standard or test requirement may have a 
coincident cost; NIOSH will also be seeking to quantify the cost of 
change--that is, the cost of redesigning and manufacturing to meet the 
proposed new test standards. In this instance, NIOSH has a separate 
effort in place with an independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA). 
Any participant or partner in this effort would be required to work 
with the CPA in parallel with the test program outlined above. 
Specifically, the partner would be required to provide the underlying 
cost data for each product evaluated in the test program. This would 
include the costs for a current or comparable pre-test or pre-standard 
litter and its companion post standard or post redesign equivalent. 
Prospective partners should be aware it may be possible to consider a 
few products within their existing product line (e.g.; entry level, mid 
level, and high end products). These costs may include: Per unit cost 
of materials, per unit cost of labor, per unit cost of design, test and 
certification, etc. Data from each manufacturer will be held 
confidential by the CPA and coded to remove corporate identifiers. The 
goal is to assess the cost of change to the industry rather than to an 
individual product within a given manufacturers' broad product line.
    Candidate companies will be evaluated based on their capability and 
willingness to work cooperatively to achieve the stated goals. 
Candidates selected will be required to enter into a Letter of 
Agreement spelling out the level of participation expected of each 
partner and the handling of data generated from the partnership. This 
announcement does not obligate NIOSH to enter into an agreement with 
any respondents. NIOSH reserves the right to establish a partnership 
based on the engineering analysis and capabilities found by way of this 
announcement or other searches, if determined to be in the best 
interest of the government.

[[Page 13623]]

    NIOSH recognizes this opportunity will raise many questions for 
prospective partners. In order to give all involved the greatest 
opportunity to understand the process and project expectations, the 
NTEA-AMD, our collaborative partner and host standards setting body, 
has agreed to provide a meeting room for us to hold an informational 
meeting to present a broad overview of the effort and answer any 
resulting questions.
    To provide us with the best opportunity to meet the needs of all 
prospective partners at each of these meetings, we request that all 
interested parties contact Jim Green, NIOSH Project Officer, by email 
at JGreen@cdc.gov; or telephone (304) 285-5857, by Thursday, March 17, 
2011.

CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jim Green, NIOSH Project Officer, 
e-mail: JGreen@cdc.gov; telephone (304) 285-5857.
    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been 
delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to 
announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, 
for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency 
for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Dated: March 7, 2011.
Tanja Popovic,
Deputy Associate Director for Science, Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention.
[FR Doc. 2011-5733 Filed 3-11-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4163-19-P