MERCEDES-BENZ CITARO CONVERTED IN INTENSIVE CARE AMBULANCEBUS
The Covid-19 pandemic leads to unexpected initiatives like ambulance buses. All over the world you can find examples of those buses, like in the Netherlands were a few years ago a Van Hool citybus was transformed into an ambulance bus including “intensive care” facilities. Over the years Solaris has manufactured several ambulance buses and now Mercedes-Benz converted in only three weeks, a Citaro intercity bus into a special vehicle for the transfer of Covid-19 patients.
With this conversion this Citaro is according to Mercedes-Benz now the largest intensive care ambulance in Germany. This brand new ambulance is to be used by DRK-Rettungsdienst Heidenheim-Ulm GmbH (German Red Cross Emergency Medical Services Heidenheim-Ulm). It will be available to the German Red Cross (DRK) for a period of six months. The joint project is supported by the University Hospital in Ulm which is providing the specialized medical staff. SWU Stadtwerke Ulm/Neu-Ulm GmbH (public utility company) is also on board the project and is providing drivers and maintenance personnel. "Among other professions, it is currently the staff in hospitals and care facilities who are working steadfastly and who particularly deserve our respect. Therefore, I am delighted that we are able to support the DRK by supplying transportation capacity", explains Till Oberwörder, Head of Daimler Buses explains. SWU Stadtwerke Ulm/Neu-Ulm is supporting the project by supplying drivers and a depot as well as taking care of technical maintenance.
David Richter, Managing Director of DRK-Rettungsdienst Heidenheim-Ulm had the idea of converting a bus in response to the need to increase intensive care transportation capacities. A team of 12 employees from Daimler's bus production in Neu-Ulm converted the bus to a high-capacity critical care ambulance in just 15 working days. The bus is equipped with four electrohydraulic wheeled stretchers with a loading system, four intensive care ventilators, four monitoring screens, a sonography unit and a blood gas analysis device, for example. The staff from Daimler Buses also created stowage space for sufficient medicines, nursing equipment, additional breathing apparatus and protective clothing. The journeys are supervised by two intensive-care doctors from the University Hospital in Ulm. Three paramedics and two ambulance officers supplied by DRK-Rettungsdienst Heidenheim-Ulm are also on board.
As the bus will focus on transporting Covid-19 patients, hygienic demands are important, a disinfectant sprayer can be used in the patient compartment once transportation is completed. The area for the driver is separated from the patient compartment by a wall and the ventilation system has been converted. As a result the driver has no contact with patients and is not exposed to any infection.