IN WHAT MIGHT be a first, cops said a local man jumped out of a taxi on I-76 yesterday and carjacked a nearby ambulance — and somehow managed to live to see another day.

The utterly insane sequence of events started to unfold about 3 p.m. near the Girard Avenue exit on the westbound side of the expressway, said Pennsylvania State Police spokesman Cpl. Gerard McShea.

Brian Timothy Kada Jr. emerged from a taxi and ran up to an EMStar ambulance that was in front of the cab in heavy traffic.

Kada, 25, brandished a handgun and forced his way into the ambulance, which was carrying two medics and a patient en route to an area hospital, McShea said.

The medics jumped out and Kada floored it.

"He took over the ambulance and started riding on the shoulder," McShea said. "He clipped the mirror of another vehicle, and at some point, the rear tire became flattened."

But the madness didn't end there.

McShea said Kada jumped out of the ambulance and tried to approach other vehicles on the expressway.

Within moments, Philly cops arrived at the scene and arrested Kada after a short foot chase near Route 1.

McShea said Kada, of Northeast Philadelphia, was charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, firearms violations and related offenses.

Neither the medics nor the patient - who was taken to Roxborough Memorial Hospital - suffered any injuries.