Using federal American Rescue Act funds, Caldwell County Emergency Services recently purchased a multifunctional ambulance bus to use for major incidents, mobile clinics, and more.
“People can expect to see this bus at any major event, so if there is a multi-car accident or major fire, it can be used,” said Emergency Services Chief Dino DiBernardi. “It can also be a mobile clinic, so people may see the bus in their communities.”
The 25-foot mass care response unit offers maneuverability and can be configured to transport up to seven patients lying down or as many as 10 patients in wheelchairs. In addition to transport capabilities, the bus may be used as a drop-off point when the hospital is inundated with patients, keeping ambulances in service or can be deployed during natural disasters.
As a mobile clinic, the vehicle can be a place to conduct blood pressure checks, and blood glucose and cardiac screenings, as well as to provide vaccinations.
Emergency Services is working closely with the Health Department to identify ways to use the ambulance bus in the community.
“We plan on using the bus to hold both flu and COVID vaccination clinics, as well as to provide a place for COVID testing,” said Public Health Director Anna Martin. “Already, the bus has replaced the tents here at the Health Department that were used for COVID testing and infusions.”
A long range goal is to use the bus to provide mobile integrated healthcare.
“Mobile integrated healthcare falls right along with para-medicine, allowing us to bring care directly to patient, rather than having the patient come to us,” said Community Paramedic Jason Powell.
Although the mass care unit offers a multitude of functions that can serve Caldwell County well into the future, DiBernardi says the biggest benefit is the use of American Rescue Act monies.
“No local tax dollars were used to purchase this bus, so the county is getting the benefit without being a burden to the tax payers.”
Learn more about the mass care response unit at https://bit.ly/3JwIzSj.