By Alan M. Petrillo
Covenant (TX) Children’s Hospital has taken delivery of a critical care transport ambulance built by American Emergency Vehicles (AEV) for the hospital’s Kite Flight Specialty Transport Team.
Cherish Brodbeck, coordinator of Covenant Children’s Kite Flight Specialty Transport Services, points out that Covenant Children’s is a tertiary care facility in West Texas, and the only freestanding children’s hospital between Fort Worth, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. “Our transport program covers 110,000 square miles through Kite Flight, which is staffed by nurses, paramedics and respiratory therapists, transporting pediatric, neonatal, and high risk obstetrics patients,” Brodbeck says. “Our hospital is a Level 2 pediatric trauma facility, and a Level 4 maternal and neonatal facility, the highest designation for both.”
Brodbeck says Covenant Children’s Kite Flight “takes referrals from all over Texas, eastern New Mexico and Oklahoma, as well as from big cities in Texas, such as Houston and Dallas, when we get their overflow cases.” She notes the new AEV critical care transport ambulance is Kite Service’s third rig, and its first AEV.
Randy Barr, AEV director of sales, says the Covenant Children’s critical care transport ambulance is built on a Ford F-550 chassis with an extended 205-inch wheelbase, and LiquidSpring® suspension systems on both the front and rear of the vehicle. “The vehicle is powered by a 6.7-liter diesel engine, and has a body that’s 190-inches long, 98-inches wide, with 72-inches of headroom,” Barr notes. “The patient module is set up with a side entry on the street side to access a transverse Stryker PowerLOAD and PowerCOT, that’s in addition to a traditional Stryker PowerLOAD and PowerCOT accessed from the rear of the body.”
Brodbeck points out that the Kite Flight team wanted the ability to send two care teams and two separately contained Isolets in one vehicle. “With the second Stryker in a horizontal position to the axis of the ambulance, we had to have the door on the street side to give the most access to allow the use of all the Isolet monitor and access points on the left side of the unit,” she says. “We have room in the patient module for three staff members in captain’s chairs, which allows us the flexibility of transporting two patients in one ambulance, instead of two separate ambulances or in an aircraft.”
She continues, “Because we are an interfacility transport service, we are transferring patients at a hospital where an open door on the street side is not near oncoming traffic. And with the three seats in the rear, we can also transport a mom and baby together in an Isolet and on a cot, so they are not separated. We take a family-centered approach to transport.”
Barr says that other features in the Covenant Children’s rig’s patient compartment include Per4Max four-point seat belt harness on seats, a HALO LED® light rail, dual patient compartment switches, a rear entertainment system including a television and DVD player, solid surface countertops, and HALO edge floor lighting that flashes in different colors.
The Covenant Children’s rig also has OnSpot automatic snow chains, an additional Arctic Wedge external condenser on the front of the body, a BigTex™ front grill guard, a secondary engine-driven HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) compressor, an anti-theft secure idle system, dual keypads for keyless entry, auto shade privacy windows, Whelen LED warning and scene lights, and an Onan® diesel generator.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Editorial Advisory Board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.