CoxHealth unveils new, safer ambulances
Purchase comes while organization celebrates 25 years of providing ambulance service to the Ozarks
For immediate release
July 12, 2012
We all know ambulances, and the crews that staff them, save countless lives every year. Yet while designed with the care and safety of patients in mind, older model ambulances were not designed to fully protect the crew in the normal functions of their duty while caring for patients, much less in the case of an accident. “Statistics show the American ambulance is one of the most dangerous vehicles on the road for its passengers,” says Mark Alexander, director of CoxHealth Pre-Hospital Services.
This situation is changing as newer, safer ambulances are becoming more common, and CoxHealth is proud to bring the first of these ambulances to the area. The organization has purchased two Mercedes Mirage EX Sprinter ambulances as part of its fleet, and plans to systematically replace the entire fleet as existing ambulances reach the end of their life expectancy.
The ambulances have a number of safety features, including a four-point harness for staff riding in back with a patient. The narrower interior and forward facing safety seat configuration allow a harnessed staff member to work on a patient and reach supplies while being safely restrained. The ambulances also feature back-up cameras with microphones, replicated warning lights so vehicles approaching a scene from behind can see the lights when the vehicle doors are open, and more.
“We don’t let paramedics and EMTs go into a scene that’s not safe, that hasn’t first be secured. And then we put them in the back of an ambulance where they’re not secure and can be easily harmed during an accident,” he says. “These ambulances change that.”
“CoxHealth has been an innovator and leader in pre-hospital patient care since we began providing full-service ambulance care in 1987,” says Mike Dawson, CoxHealth Pre-Hospital Services operations manager. “By adding the Sprinters to our fleet, we are continuing that tradition.”
Dawson and CoxHealth Pre-Hospital manager Fred Savage flew to Canada in June to pick up the ambulances from Demers Ambulances in Montreal. The pair spent two days driving the ambulances back to Springfield.
The addition of the Mercedes Sprinters brings the number of ambulances in the CoxHealth fleet to 27. Additionally, CoxHealth maintains and manages another 24 ambulances in the region that are registered to individual ambulance district boards. The Sprinters are also designed to operate with more fuel efficiency. The two are expected to save CoxHealth $7,000 a year in fuel costs.
Each new ambulance cost $91,999. The new ambulances will be based in Greene County, and have a life expectancy of 6-8 years and roughly 300,000 miles.
CoxHealth Corporate Communications
Phone: 417-269-4113 | Fax: 417-269-5750
After business hours: 417-269-3211