Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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A new ambulance for Fontana EMS

by Rob Ireland

December 25, 2008

Fontana — The EMS department's new ambulance offers some slick new features that will enable medics to give better care to patients.

The new ambulance offers a new bench seating system, which will place medics on each side of a patient. In the old ambulance medics could only sit on one side of the patient.

"A lot of times it takes two people to do an assessment especially when working on a trauma victim," EMT Shane Westphal said.

EMS Chief Jon Kemmett said this new feature would allow one medic to perform CPR while another medic can treat head-to-toe injuries.

He also said if one EMT gets tired and can no longer perform CPR, another EMT can easily take over.

"Both medics can be right here doing additional treatments that need to be done," Kemmett said.

Kemmett said the new bench seating also allows EMTs to more easily wear seat belts when performing treatments.

The new ambulance cost the rescue department about $120,000. The ambulance was originally valued at $150,000, but the EMS department received a discount because it was a demonstration model. The EMS department also traded in its older model.

Kemmett said the ambulance was purchased with donated funds and didn't cost taxpayers a dime.

The new ambulance also features some upgrades, which will make it easier for the drivers to their jobs.

It's also equipped with two surveillance camera. One camera is in the back of the truck, which allows the driver to better see while driving in reverse.

The second camera is located in the crew area. If a patient is becoming combative the driver can see this and stop the ambulance to assist.

Westphal said the new ambulance also allows the driver to turn at a sharper radius.

"In Fontana, we have a lot of little roads and driveways and stuff along the lake and it makes it a lot easier to back in," Westphal said.

The new ambulance also is equipped with a global positioning system. Although the Fontana drivers know there way around the village, the GPS could prove helpful on mutual aid calls.

Kemmett said it also will be helpful if the driver needs to take a patient to another hospital.

"If you've never been to one of the hospitals before, you can program it in," he said. "It's a little easier to find it than trying to ask people or checking books."

The new ambulance also has more cabinets near the bench seating.

EMT Kevin Clark said this places equipment closer to his finger tips as he's working on a patient. In the old ambulance, EMTs often would have to stand up to retrieve needed equipment.