West Feliciana Hospital Emergency Department has added a new Mercedes Benz Sprinter Ambulance to its fleet. The Sprinter combines efficiency, functionality and durability in one complete package, while also offering some of the industry’s most advanced emergency care features.
“When seconds count and we are trying to get to someone in need, time and safety is of the essence,” stated Chris Fitzgerald, West Feliciana Hospital EMS director. “The hospital has gone above and beyond as an ambulance provider to make sure that the equipment is not just adequate, but features cutting-edge technology.”
Some of the new facets found in the Sprinter model, range from ergonomic enhancements to more sophisticated medical care.
1. A smoother ride. With the volume of medical equipment ambulances carry, they’re heavy machines. Many vehicles aren’t made to transport this type of bulk, nor are they meant to be driven the way that paramedics and EMTs must drive them in an emergency. The Sprinter sits lighter on its shocks, Fitzgerald says, so patients will experience a smoother, less bumpy ride.
2. State-of-the-art medical equipment that makes a difference. The Sprinter van is equipped with a Glidescope—a camera tool paramedics use to view inside a patient’s larynx, or windpipe. When it comes to cardiac trouble, most rural ambulance services carry three- or four-lead EKG cardiac monitors, Fitzgerald says. However, the Sprinter’s cardiac monitors show a twelve-lead EKG, which provides a highly accurate reading of a patient’s cardiac rhythm, allowing the team to determine which wing of the hospital a patient should be delivered to. “Our machine allows us to transmit EKGs to a hospital before we get there,” Fitzgerald explains. “If we have a patient having an active heart attack, we’re able to send that EKG to the cath lab and they’ll activate the cath team, so we can bypass the ER and roll the patient straight to specific treatment.”
3. 360 safety features. The inside of the smooth-riding Sprinter is impressive, sure, but what’s on the outside? Fifteen cameras that capture every angle of the vehicle’s exterior. Fitzgerald and his crew often find themselves pulling into tight quarters, he says, and a crowd of onlookers or loved ones may have formed by the time the van is ready to leave, which can create a precarious situation. “When we’re pulling out of a driveway, it’s a race against time,” Fitzgerald says. “A lot of times, we’re on narrow passageways and driveways and bridges, and it helps to have a lot of extra eyes on all sides of us.”
“Emergency medical services is one of the most important offerings we provide for the parish,” said hospital CEO, Lee Chastant. “The new ambulance is the first of our new fleet and it shows our dedication to always striving to provide the best possible outcomes for our residents.”
“We have had many paramedics come from other providers who have been thoroughly impressed with the expectations of treatment and the service we provide as a whole,” said Fitzgerald. “In a world where most hospitals don’t offer ambulance service to their blanketed area, WFH not only provides it, but does so with the highest level of care.”
West Feliciana Hospital Emergency Medical Services and ambulance service is provided 24/7 along with an emergency department at the hospital and staffed with specially trained physicians at all times.