Government officials, using federal grants from the Department of Homeland Security's Urban Area Security Initiative, already have ordered seven of the mobile evacuation buses for Washington, D.C.-area fire departments, and recently unveiled the vehicles in grand fashion at the Capitol building. The newest product from, the mobile evacuation bus, and is helping to spawn enormous interest from across the nation for this first-of-its-kind rescue vehicle. during a major press conference March 29. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Fire Chiefs Committee attended the event to get a hands-on look at the inaugural vehicles, which are manufactured by High Point, N.C.-based Sartin Services.
“We are so pleased that the government shares our excitement about these vehicles and realizes the potential for helping people in the event of a major accident, a terrorist action, a pandemic or a natural disaster such as a hurricane,” said Ed Sartin, president of Sartin Services. “Our goal in developing this vehicle was to give responding rescue and medical personnel the tools they needed to care for and transport large numbers of patients which we hope will save lives.”
Sartin designed the vehicle with several unique components, such as a sliding stretcher stacking system that allows medical personnel to load as many as 24 patients on one bus. A large oxygen storage and distribution system provides a long-term supply of oxygen and an individual, metered oxygen supply for each patient.
A large adjustable ramp that stores under the bus is used for loading or unloading patients. The ramp can be positioned at different height levels to accommodate the loading or unloading needs of medical personnel. The bus also has many other special features including a nurse's station, seating for medical personnel, an onboard generator, electrical outlets and storage compartments for medical machines and equipment, emergency lighting and siren and heating and air conditioning. Sartin has filed several patent applications on the vehicle and components. The system is not only limited to a bus, it can be installed on trucks, tractor-trailers, trains, subway cars, railroad cars or airplanes.
“The ambulance buses filled a large gap,” said Chief Thomas Carr of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. “A typical ambulance can carry one or two patients, but the giant ones eliminate the caravan of ambulances that can crowd emergency scenes.”