General Services Administration (GSA) 2020-08-31T01:16:45+00:00

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:

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 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 12 (July 1, 2019)

The primary purpose of the K Specs are 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 on a voluntary basis.

GSA changes are made using:

• Contemporary applicable scientific research
• Component Availability
• Public comment

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, Subsequent change notices have adopted all of the remaining SAE standards for ambulances as well as the NIST design guidelines.

GSA was a technical advisor to ASTM 2020; is a voting member of NFPA 1917; and is a technical advisor to GVS-V2.0.

KKK-A-1822F (Aug 2007)
KKK-A-1822F Cumulative Change (Jan 2015)
KKK-A-1822F Change Notice 8 (July 2015)
KKK-A-1822F Change Notice 9 (July 2016)
KKK-A-1822F Change Notice 10 (July 2017)
KKK-A-1822F Change Notice 11 (July 2018)
KKK-A-1822F Change Notice 12 (July 2019)
KKK-A-1822F change notice 13 (July 2020)


John McDonald
US General Services Administration (select ‘Ambulance” from drop down menu)