West Shore Medical Center’s newest ambulance is hitting the streets to save lives.
West Shore maintains five ambulances in its fleet, all of which have advanced life support (ALS) capabilities, enabling Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel to treat even the most critical cases. Two ambulances are staffed around the clock, allowing West Shore EMS to respond quickly to emergencies any time.
“ALS ambulances are stocked with more advanced equipment and technology than basic life support vehicles,” said Emergency Medical Services Manager Wayne Beldo. “For instance, we have advanced EKG monitors that can be hooked up in the field and read remotely at the hospital to detect heart attacks right from the patient’s home. The more quickly we can diagnose a cardiac event, the more quickly we can get the patient to a tertiary care facility such as Munson Medical Center, preventing further damage to the heart.”
A twin to this ambulance will be arriving in August. “We purchased remounted vehicles, which allowed us to stretch our dollars and buy two ambulances.”
A portion of the new vehicle’s cost was paid for with Revenue Sharing Board funds received in 2011. “We put a lot of wear and tear on our ambulances, and we need to replace them at a rate of about one per year,” said Beldo. “The support of the Revenue Sharing Board has been crucial to our ability to keep our fleet in shape.” One of the other ambulances currently in service was purchased through a pledge made by the West Shore Medical Center Auxiliary.
The latest ALS vehicle is the hospital’s first gasoline-powered ambulance. “Gas vehicles are cheaper to maintain and have lower fuel costs,” said Emergency Medical Services Manager Wayne Beldo. “The savings really adds up.”