ETMC EMS Ambulances Get New Technology

East Texas Medical Center EMS has added new technology to its fleet of ambulances, it has announced.

Enhancements include power stretchers, back-up cameras and sensors, climate-controlled drug boxes, and IV warmers, according to Tony Myers, ETMC EMS vice president/COO.

"Paramedics are most excited about the new Stryker Power-Pro stretcher, which is electrically powered and can lift up to 500 pounds alone," Myers said. "This will help save paramedics and emergency medical technicians from back injuries, and it allows the patient to be loaded with the push of a button by one person." Myers said that ambulance companies using this stretcher see fifty percent fewer employee work injuries caused by transporting patients.

Ambulances have also been fitted with a new back-up camera and sensor system that allows drivers to know the exact distance from the back end of the ambulance to other objects. "Combined with a rear back-up camera that transmits to a monitor in the rear-view mirror, backing up and positioning the ambulance will be a lot easier," said Erik Switzer, director of fleet maintenance.  "The seven-inch monitor and wide-angle cameras eliminate blind spots mirrors miss so you never lose sight of objects or people while backing up," Switzer added.

EMS also purchased ten new ambulances that are equipped with new LED lights on the outside.  The lights are much brighter and clearer.

The ambulances also feature climate-controlled drug boxes to keep medicine at the proper temperature. IV warmers have also been added to the fleet.  This assures accurate warming of the IV solutions and helps patients maintain a normal body temperature, especially those suffering from shock and burns.

Last year, ETMC outfitted each ambulance with the latest mobile data technology and radio systems, called Nomad, to ensure faster response times.  When an ambulance is assigned to a call, a computer screen in the unit displays a map showing their current location and the location of the call.

ETMC EMS covers an extensive portion of East Texas with the area's largest fleet of ambulances, three helicopters and the state's most comprehensive 800 MHZ radio communications system. Based in Tyler, Texas, and founded in 1968, EMS serves 17 counties and almost 17,000 square miles of East Texas plus serves Waco and Pasadena Texas. All 95 ambulances are equipped with Advanced Cardiac Life Support systems, and staffed by highly trained, certified paramedics and emergency medical technicians.

Cathryn Khalil,

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