By Savannah Owens
Brent Smith , EMS Director, and Jeff Sanderson, EMS team member, took KSST on a private tour of their new AMBUS, and KSST is sharing that with you!
“The bus is owned by the state. There are 13 of them allocated to each location by the State.” Sanderson expressed excitement at this big honor. The bus can be used in any disaster-type situation such as “hurricane deployments, and the human trafficking incident that happened [a few weeks ago].” There are state and regional deployment types. “This bus went to Paris when they had a big apartment fire.”
This AMBUS was set up for transporting 16 patients laying down, but you can convert it to fit 4-5 people sitting up on each seat. They have wheel-chair tie-downs, and 20 cordless vital sign monitors. “We carry everything that are on usual ambulances and more.” Sanderson assured.
“The bus is equipped with regional radios, and satellite communication.” Smith said. Which means the bus can talk to ambulances across Texas, and talk to San Antonio (Main Dispatch center) and the 12 other buses. “Every crew member has a hands free headset to communicate with each other. The driver and crew chief have [additional] access to the radios from their headsets.”
Smith explained some of the features the bus contains. They have two cardiac defibrillators, a Lucas device (a cardiac chest compression machine), and a winch to help all types of patients onto the beds.”Each bed can have its own oxygen-we have 6 tanks underneath the bus.” They are the only bus in Texas that has an infant carrier. This bus can transport new born babies to elderly adults.
Typical staff plan for the bus includes: “one driver, a crew chief, and four clinicians-which can be paramedics or EMTs depending on the mission.” Smith described. The AMBUS is apart of an the State emergency task force; that assists in disaster and regional response.This bus is also part of the Emergency Medical Task Force (EMFT) and covers region 4, which is East Texas: “from Oklahoma to Trinity, and From Hopkins to the Louisiana state line.”
The idea for these ambulance-buses came from “post Hurricane Katrina. The state bought them for massive hurricane evacuations…It’s a better utilization of resources for the state [to be able to efficiently evacuate citizens and patients from disaster areas.” Smith explained.
This fully equipped AMBUS cost $650,000. Smith stated; “We’re proud to have the ambulance. It’s a great asset [for the community and region]. We are blessed to have it.”
To see the official press release click here.