Elizabethtown Community Hospital purchases new ambulance for service

Elizabethtown resident Al Kurtz was the first patient transported in the hospital’s newly purchased ambulance.

Elizabethtown resident Al Kurtz was the first patient transported in the hospital’s newly purchased ambulance.

Elizabethtown Community Hospital has purchased a new ambulance that will be used to transport its patients for additional care.

The brand-new transport ambulance is a 2012 Chevrolet ambulance, manufactured by Osage Ambulances.

The ambulance is stocked with new equipment and accessories used by the hospital’s emergency staff while transporting patients for additional care. The ECH transport ambulance is now one of two units that are owned by ECH and stationed on hospital property, ready to transfer a patient in minutes.

The addition of the transport ambulance has allowed it to improve the quality of patient care by cutting transfer time in half.

Historically, the hospital has relied on a number of transport service businesses to transport its patients. The hospital created its own transport program earlier this year after those paid services were no longer able to maintain an ambulance in the Westport area. Those services now must travel forty minutes to reach ECH.

“The issue is time,” said Emergency Department Manager Julie Tromblee, RN. “This hospital must ensure that patients receive the care they need as quickly as possible. Waiting for an ambulance service to travel 40 minutes to reach our facility, pickup the patient and then travel another 40 minutes to another facility is simply not an option.”

Local emergency medical squads from throughout Essex County bring patients to the hospital, some of which are trauma or critical care cases. After ECH staff provides initial care and stabilizing treatment, the hospital transfers these patients to other facilities. Trauma and stroke patients are transferred to Burlington via helicopter whenever possible. Patients that require cardiac care or emergency surgical procedures are typically transferred to Plattsburgh or Burlington via ambulance.

The hospital has hired an ambulance driver, a full time critical-care emergency medical technician (EMT), and part-time critical care EMT. Each of these positions will be working within the hospital’s emergency department when not providing transport. Other hospital personnel will be “on call” to drive the vehicle.

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