Cone Health Puts High-Tech Ambulance on the Road - Cone Health

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Published on August 14, 2012

Cone Health Puts High-Tech Ambulance on the Road

CareLink AmbulanceImagine an ambulance that takes people to the hospital but also protects them from crashes, germs and back injuries, all while protecting the environment.  Cone Health is the first in North Carolina to put one of these futuristic ambulances on the road.

The $400,000 rolling intensive care unit is used by Carelink—the Cone Health service that transfers critically ill people between hospitals. The ambulance is the first unit in North Carolina to have patient safety airbags in the patient compartment. The four airbags also are designed to protect the two nurses who typically ride in the back.

The ambulance also protects the patient and crew by attacking germs inside the ambulance. Ultraviolet lights are in the heating and air system to kill bacteria brought into the ambulance. Interior surfaces in the patient compartment use Agion technology, which leaches silver ions when touched.

“This is all about caring for our patients and our staff,” says Terry Register, EMT Supervisor/Coordinator, CareLink Critical Care. “CareLink is on the leading edge of technology in specialty care transport and proving daily that we are ‘Exceptional People, Delivering Exceptional Care.’”

One feature that will impact the people who work on the ambulance is the first use in the United States of the Stryker Power Load System. Once a stretcher is rolled to the back of the truck, a device automatically lifts and pulls the stretcher into the ambulance. It can be reversed to unload the stretcher. A stretcher, patient and medical equipment can weigh 400 pounds or more, and a CareLink crew may load and unload as many as 40 patients a day. This new system will reduce the physical demands on the crew.

There also is an environmentally friendly side to the ambulance. The main engine is what is known as a “clean diesel.” It injects a urea mixture into the exhaust to lower nitrous oxide emissions. The engine can be turned off when the ambulance is parked thanks to a generator that keeps the air conditioning and electrical systems running.

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