UC Davis Children's Hospital rolls out new pediatric critical care ambulance

UC Davis Children's Hospital ambulance
The UC Davis Children's Hospital Pediatric Critical Care Transport Ambulance will be the flagship vehicle for the Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team.

UC Davis Children's Hospital has a new, lifesaving tool to transport sick and injured children from throughout the Sacramento region and beyond: A state-of-the-art, Pediatric Critical Care Transport Ambulance.

"This ambulance represents a revolution in our ability to provide a rapid response to emergent calls for assistance from a wide variety of referring hospitals and clinics. In particular, it will allow us to provide comfort and life-saving medical care to children throughout Northern California," said Anthony F. Philipps, professor of pediatrics, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and medical director, UC Davis Children's Hospital.

The customized, top-of-the-line ambulance, wrapped from roof to rims in family friendly images of children of all ages,  made its debut at the UC Davis Children's Hospital Capitol Family Fun Day event in October.

The UC Davis Children's Hospital Pediatric Critical Care Transport Ambulance will be the flagship vehicle for the Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team. The ambulance is the result of a $161,000 grant from Kohl's Department Stores, which will finance the three-year lease of the vehicle from First Responder EMS-Sacramento, Inc.

"Kohl's looks for ways to give back in every community that we serve. In 2000, we created Kohl's Cares for Kids®, to support children's health and education initiatives nationwide. Through 2007, the program has raised more than $102 million towards the cause," Sindy Rousseau, Kohl's Department Stores district manager for the Sacramento district.

"We're really excited that UC Davis Children's Hospital is the local Kohl's Cares for Kids® beneficiary organization," Rousseau said. "Since 2004 Kohl's has donated more than $600,000 to UC Davis and we're happy to announce this most recent gift."

Dr. Tony Philipps"In particular, it will allow us to provide comfort and life-saving medical care to children throughout Northern California."
— Anthony F. Philipps, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and medical director, UC Davis Children's Hospital.

The ambulance is a 2008 Ford E-450 Diesel, 14-foot, extra-long ambulance, designed by Leader Industries of Los Angeles and 'wrapped' in images of children of all ages and backgrounds. On the inside, the ambulance is designed for the utmost safety and complete comfort of patients and their families, including a 17-inch-wide, flip-down flat-screen TV for children to watch during transport.

"Our paramedics and emergency medical technicians are excited and proud to be part of an innovative program that will have long-term, positive and life-sustaining results for the children who we serve," said Tom Arjil, president and chief executive officer of First Responder EMS-Sacramento, Inc.

The ambulance is staffed by members of the UC Davis Children's Hospital Critical Care Transport and First Responder EMS-Sacramento teams, dedicated emergency medical technicians (EMTs), nurses and physicians who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to transport critically ill infants and children.

UC Davis Children's Hospital's Critical Care Transport Team is the most comprehensive in Northern California, with the capability of traveling by ground via ambulance or by air, either by fixed-wing aircraft to and from Sacramento Executive Airport, or helicopter to and from the hospital's helipad.

The new, larger ambulance will enhance the hospital's ability to provide family-centered care from the moment transport begins, with a safer location for parents to ride inside the patient-care compartment with the child, according to Debra Bamber, patient care manager for the Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team.

ICU nurse with pediatric patient
The dedicated children's ambulance will aid in patient receiving treatment sooner.

"We want to support family-centered care from the moment we pick up the child," Bamber said. "It's important to allow a family member to ride along with the patient whenever possible, especially for young children, for whom riding in an ambulance can be a very scary thing."

The team traveling with the patient generally consists of First Responder EMTs and two UC Davis Children's Hospital-based registered nurses who are dedicated to neonatal and pediatric transport, Bamber said. Other UC Davis Children's Hospital staff, for example, a neonatal nurse or a physician, may accompany the transport nurses to support critically ill patients, when necessary.

"Having our own, dedicated ambulance means quicker out-the-door time. Quicker to the community hospital where we will receive the patients, and quicker to return to the Children's Hospital to provide the definitive care that the child needs," said Robert Pretzlaff, associate professor of pediatrics and chief of the division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at UC Davis Children's Hospital.

UC Davis Pediatric Transport Program

Over 600 children each year receive the specialized care that only UC Davis Children’s Hospital can provide with the help of our Pediatric Transport Program.

Referring physicians work with the UC Davis neonatal and pediatric medical team to bring patients from distant and rural locations to our hospital for high-level care.

The Pediatric Transport Program is a dedicated children’s transport team available to a 33-county area – and sometimes beyond – 24-hours a day, seven days a week. It’s just another way UC Davis remains committed to the needs of patients and the communities we serve.

Learn more

The new ambulance's features include:

  • The ambulance's patient-care compartment is built with a steel safety cage that protects occupants in the event of a broadside impact or roll-over accident.
  • The ambulance is equipped with an Automatic Vehicle Locator and Global Positioning Satellite system to track the vehicle throughout transport.
  • All of the five seats inside the ambulance are equipped with five-point restraint systems that include single-button release for rapid evacuation.
  • The ambulance is equipped with a dual-functioning air conditioning and heater system to cool or heat it rapidly, which is especially important during hot Central Valley summers.
  • A double-locked safe inside the patient compartment ensures safe narcotics storage.

First Responder EMS-Sacramento, Inc. began operations in 1998 with two vehicles and today has a fleet of 36 ambulances and alternative transportation vehicles serving populations in excess of one million people throughout the Sacramento region.

About Kohl's
Based Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl's, is a family focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment. By the end of November, Kohl's will operate 1,004 stores in 48 states. A company committed to the communities it serves, Kohl's has raised more than $102 million for children's initiatives nationwide through its Kohl's Cares for Kids® philanthropic program.

About UC Davis Children's Hospital
UC Davis Children's Hospital is a 110-bed children's hospital, and is the only comprehensive, National Association of Children's Hospitals (NACHRI)-member hospital in the Sacramento region. The hospital includes a 16-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, a 49-bed neonatal intensive care unit and a 36-bed continuing care unit. From primary care offices to specialty and intensive care clinics, pediatric experts at UC Davis Children's Hospital provide compassionate care to more than 100,000 children each year and conduct research on causes and improved treatments for conditions such as autism, asthma, obesity, cancer and birth defects. For more information, visit the UC Davis Children's Hospital Web site.