General Services Administration (GSA)
The GSA was established by President Harry Truman on July 1, 1949, to streamline the administrative work of the federal government. GSA consolidated the National Archives Establishment, the Federal Works Agency, and the Public Buildings Administration; the Bureau of Federal Supply and the Office of Contract Settlement; and the War Assets Administration into one federal agency tasked with administering supplies and providing workplaces for federal employees.
GSA’s original mission was to dispose of war surplus goods, manage and store government records, handle emergency preparedness, and stockpile strategic supplies for wartime. GSA also regulated the sale of various office supplies to federal agencies. (source: www.gsa.gov)
In 1972, the US Department of Transportation determined that because there was no standard for ambulance design, thousands of ambulances (many purchased with federal funds) were not adequately configured to treat patients during transport. To address this concern, the US DOT requested the GSA to develop a standard for ambulances.
The Federal Specification for Star-of-Life Ambulances (KKK-A-1822), more commonly referred to as “K-Specs“, went into effect in January 1974. The K Specs have been updated through a series of Revisions (A-F) with interim Change Notices. The current version is KKK-A-1822(F) with Change Notice 8 (July 1, 2015)
The primary purpose of the K Specs is to define the requirements for federally purchased ambulances. However, over the past 40+ years, the K Specs have become integrated in whole or in part into regulations in 30 states.
GSA changes are made using both contemporary applicable research and component availability. For example, Change Notice 8 included two SAE standards: (J3026) Ambulance Patient Compartment Seating Integrity and Occupant Restraint, and (J3027) Ambulance Litter Integrity, Retention, and Patient Restraint, but not a third (J3043) Ambulance Equipment Mount Device or Systems until manufacturers have an adequate inventory of compliant parts.
The GSA has been a technical advisor to ASTM 2020, NFPA 1917, and GVS-2015.