AmbuBus program expanding

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Published: October 16,2009

Tags: disaster preparedness, education, healthcare, state agency

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has partnered with the Mississippi State Department of Education, individual school districts and several county emergency management agencies in a new program called AmbuBus to help provide mass patient evacuations in the event of a public health emergency such as a hurricane.

“Many lessons were learned from previous hurricanes, one of these being the additional need for medical transportation to evacuate non-ambulatory individuals,” said Jim Craig, director of the MSDH Office of Health Protection. “These new kits offer Mississippi an economical solution in addressing this need. Converting buses into medical transportation during disasters offers emergency responders an added resource to effectively and efficiently evacuate a large number of the special needs population at once and in as little time as possible.”

Utilizing a quick installation kit, local school districts can convert a bus into ambulance-style transportation with room for up to18 stretchers, medical equipment and a team of up to eight medical personnel. In the event of an emergency, the Mississippi Department of Education’s Transportation Department will provide buses for conversion as well as drivers. Currently, kits are located in the Jackson, Hattiesburg, Grenada, Lauderdale, Pearl and Rankin school districts. The AmbuBus program will soon expand to Harrision, Hancock and Covington counties.

The AmbuBus conversion kits are a product of First Line Technology, LLC, of Chantilly, Va. They were purchased by MSDH through federal grant funds.

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