By GRACE GADDY
Palestine Regional Medical Center deployed its ambulance bus Wednesday to transport four patients with asphyxiation, which denotes a severely deficient supply of oxygen.
Beth Powell, emergency medical task force coordinator, said the Region 4 AmBus was deployed early in the morning to a house fire, which was confirmed by PRMC EMS Director Chuck Skinner.
“We were deployed to the Frankston area by the Frankston Fire Department for possible carbon monoxide exposure to some folks,” Skinner said. “We deployed at the Frankston Fire Department's request and we actually ended up transporting four patients to Tyler.”
Skinner said the incident took place around 1:45 a.m.
Recently, the AmBus has played center stage during hospital training drills and mock emergency situations. The emergency vehicle is capable of transporting up to 20 patients and six medical professionals at once while providing advanced medical services during a large scale disaster.
During Wednesday's transport, Skinner said the patients were tested with an assessment tool allowing paramedics to determine if they'd had a lethal exposure to carbon monoxide.
“In this case, it was determined that they needed further evaluation,” Skinner said. “We were able to triage out the sickest, most CO-poisoned patients and get them to ETMC quickly.”
Skinner said he was pleased with the AmBus operation and thought the crew performed “awesome.”
Currently, there are 13 AmBuses assigned to the State of Texas, and one of those calls the Palestine Regional Medical Center its home. Last year, Skinner said the vehicle transported 100 patients.
In addition to transportation, the vehicle can be utilized on location to care for sick and injured persons in the event of a disaster.