At the end of the seventies, provincial government authorities banned the use of combined ambulance-hearse. This regulation forced funeral parlor enterprises that also offered ambulance services to get vehicles that would have as their only function ambulatory transport. It is actually a sales representative from the funeral parlor industry that suggested to Campwagon that it should develop its own products for the ambulance market.
The task of developing such a product type was Lucien Barbeau’s job. Being Lucien’s daughter I have a clear memory of having seen my father on a very sunny Sunday afternoon, sitting on the homemade dive board of our pool, bent over his quad paper pad, drafting one of his first electrical wiring diagrams for ambulances. A particular challenge of this product type is the complexity of the electrical system. Lucien mentions that he remembers having used the knowledge he had acquired as a boy assembling complex electrical toy train systems!
Lucien mentions that they had to quickly improve the design in regards to optimization of the furniture configuration, reinforcement of the furniture and intense demands imposed on the electrical system. Planning had to include power supply and restraining systems for the oxygen and suction devices in addition to installing a 12v-11v converter to service various specialized equipment. Lucien recalls having manufactured approximately 75 ambulances. This product line was a great challenge for Lucien Barbeau who is passionate about product development.
Lucien remembers performing his electrical system validation tests driving on local rural roads with sirens, lights and all the other electrical elements at full capacity.