Wellstar Spalding Regional Hospital has begun replacing their emergency medical services (EMS) trucks with innovatively designed trucks to better serve residents in Spalding County. Easily recognizable, the first two of the bright red and white trucks with large purple lettering are now on the streets providing the latest in life-saving technologies for Spalding County, and backup emergency response care for Henry, Lamar, Butts and Pike counties.
The larger of the two EMS trucks is a tall, diesel-driven critical care vehicle equipped with advanced cardiac equipment. The truck also has the capacity to transport up to three patients at one time and is outfitted for neonatal transport. Additionally, it could be used to transport air flight crews to and from the scene and the hospital.
Both trucks feature innovative monitors and mobile hotspots to advance EMS’ use of telemedicine, linking the paramedic, physician and patient while en route to the hospital. Wellstar Spalding Regional EMS was the first to launch this webcam capacity in Georgia.
Each truck is also part of an Infectious Disease Transport Network, the only one between Atlanta and Macon. As members of this network, Wellstar Spalding Regional’s award-winning team of EMS paramedics and EMTs are specially trained and can turn either truck into an “isopod” isolation unit for emerging infectious diseases.
To reduce the number of paramedic back injuries caused by heavy lifting, the trucks incorporate new automated stretchers. These units provide support for emergency personnel by removing the need to lift a 75-pound stretcher along with the weight of the patient. This equipment is well-positioned to save EMS personnel from debilitating back injuries and lengthy rehabilitations, the number one cause of career ending disability in the EMS industry. Considered the safest in the industry, the stretchers also incorporate safety lockdowns from front to back, ensuring the patient is secure while in the truck.
Spalding Regional’s EMS paramedics and EMT’s provided input on the unique internal design to maximize efficiency and safety. For example, the trucks have been fitted with an automated lift to load and unload the large, extremely heavy, oxygen tanks that assist patients experiencing difficulty breathing. Jonathon Johnson, Director of Wellstar Spalding Regional’s EMS is proud of his team.
“Paramedics and EMT’s play a vital role in any system of care, often the first line of medical care for critical patients. This new equipment expands the safety for our patients and our personnel, and continues our long history of dedication and commitment to improvement of patient care in this community.”
Wellstar EMS is available 24/7 and responds to more than 16,500 calls annually with each truck in the fleet running between 200 and 250 hours each month. Each new truck costs the hospital between $150k and $180k. This first new critical care vehicle was purchased and outfitted through a gift from the Dundee Community Association to the Wellstar Foundation.
To keep up with the community’s high-demand, Spalding Regional has plans to replace seven additional trucks and add one more Critical Care truck to its fleet. Donations to the Foundation help. Every dollar designated to Spalding Regional funds much-needed projects that support the health and well-being of the local community. To make a tax-deductible donation, visit wellstar.org/give or call (770) 956-GIVE (4483).
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