MedStar began adding a new ambulance type at a “ribbon cutting” Sept. 17 at MedStar headquarters, 2900 Alta Mere Drive in Fort Worth.
For more than 30 years, MedStar has used Type 3 ambulances, a van type of ambulance with an attached patient compartment box, the organization said in a news release. But now a new Type 1 ambulance will be joining the fleet. The new ambulances feature a floating patient compartment on a pickup chassis.
It is a $13.5 million commitment by MedStar. Sixty of the new ambulances will the deployed over the next five years in an ongoing ambulance refit and replacement plan.
No taxpayer money is involved since the Metropolitan Area EMS Authority (MAEMSA) operates without a tax subsidy.
The ambulances are manufactured by Demers Ambulances, a North American leader in ambulance manufacturing.
Demers designed a new Dodge Type 1 model after extensive input from MedStar’s field crews, the news release said.
“We listened to our crews and our patients in designing our new ambulance platform,” MedStar CEO Doug Hooten said in the release. “Our patient experience survey’s reveal that the previous ambulances are not comfortable for our patients – the innovative suspension system for these ambulances will go a long way to keeping our patients and our crews safe and comfortable.”
The ambulances include an integrated, under the hood generator that powers a dual high-performance air conditioning system, critical to providing mobile healthcare services to patients in the hot Texas environment.
“The cooling system on this ambulance is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It will definitely help our personnel, and our patients, beat the sweltering Texas heat,” MedStar Chief Operations Officer Ken Simpson said.
Other features include”
– A specially designed ‘floating’ patient compartment to smooth the ride for patients and crew members when performing medical care in the back of the moving ambulance.
– Revolutionary crew seating that allows paramedics to complete patient care interventions while fully secured in a four–point harness for safety.
– A refrigerated safe to secure medications.
– Five live-view cameras on the ambulance, allowing the personnel to observe patient care, and provide an exterior view from the sides, front and rear of the ambulance.