Coweta County EMS gets new ambulance

by Sarah Fay Campbell

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Paramedic Daniel Abernathy and EMT Billy Ransdell show the back of Coweta County’s newest ambulance, which has a smoother ride for patients.

Cowetans might have seen a very different ambulance on the road lately.

Coweta County Emergency Medical Service’s new ambulance has both a new logo and paint scheme that set it apart from other ambulances.

On the inside, though, it’s pretty much the same as any other.

But there is one crucial difference — and it’s something patients who have to ride in it will certainly appreciate — a pneumatic air bag system.

“It actually controls the ride. So the ambulance is not as bumpy,” said Thomas J. Moore, deputy EMS chief for Coweta EMS. “It is a lot smoother.”

Patients “seem to respond well to it. Ambulances aren’t usually known for being very comfortable,” Moore said.

The new ambulance, which went into service in February, replaces one of the county’s older ones.

“Eventually they want to phase out the other ambulances in our fleet so that we all have the newer edition,” Moore said. It’s a Ford F-450 super duty diesel, with clean diesel capabilities.

Coweta County has six ambulances in its EMS fleet, and AMR, the contractor that provides the county’s EMS service, provides a seventh ambulance, and two backups.

The new ambulance, known as Medic 6-12, stays at Coweta County Fire Department Station 12 on Ebenezer Church Road.

The aim of the new graphic design is to provide “a new more modern look for the ambulance service,” said Tom Corker, communications manager for Coweta County. The ambulance has the county’s courthouse dome logo, which helps tie it in with other county operations, Corker said.

It, like all of the other ambulances, is outfitted with mobile data equipment that links the ambulance to 911 dispatch, and with heart monitors that can transit the data from a patient experiencing a cardiac emergency straight to the doctors at the hospital.

The new equipment has been on the ambulances for some time, but Piedmont Newnan Hospital didn’t have the capability to receive the information until the opening of the new hospital building on Poplar Road last May.

Previously, with a cardiac patient “you could talk to the hospital with telemetry and you would let them know what is going on... you can give them a static picture,” Moore said. It was basically describing what the EMS workers were seeing in the field.

Now, the hospital can get a live picture of the EKG and other data “just as they would see” with their own monitors at the hospital, Moore said.

Coweta EMS uses the Lifepak 15 cardiac monitor and defibrillator by Physio Control.

“It is pretty much the gold standard as far as pre-hospital” cardiac treatment, Moore said. The monitors are hooked in to the surrounding hospitals through the Life Net system.

Moore said EMS workers can transmit just about as much information to the hospital as the doctors want. “They can get vital signs, pulse, ox levels, exact pulse rates, and they also get the printout of the heart rhythm,” Moore said.

Doctors can figure out a lot about what the patient is experiencing before the patients arrive at the hospital, and can be more ready to treat them than they would be without the monitors.

“It cuts out a lot of delay when you get to the hospital,” Moore said.

“They usually have a team waiting for us in the emergency room,” Moore said. “Life-saving maneuvers are sped up based on the information that we are able to transmit.”



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