PRESS RELEASE: RIDGECREST REGIONAL HOSPITAL DEVELOPING NEW CRITICAL CARE TRANSPORT SYSTEM

Thursday, May 28, 2020, RIDGECREST, Calif. - Ridgecrest Regional Hospital (RRH) owns and operates Liberty Ambulance. From five stations the service responds to over 8,000 calls per year and covers over 6,000 square miles extending into five counties. Over 75 EMTs, paramedics and nurses staff up to twelve specially equipped ambulances.

When the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID_19) hit recently, EMS personnel from Liberty Ambulance responded to the pre-hospital 9-1-1 calls for service and provided high level transfers of critical patients between hospitals. As the acuity of patients increased, the need for a higher level of transport system started to emerge.

To address that need, Liberty Ambulance is developing a special ambulance that will be staffed with three persons including a Nurse / Paramedic. Liberty Ambulance currently employees four paramedics that are also RNs. Cross trained and dually licensed they can provide a wide variety of services and treatment. They

are trained and qualified to respond to 9-1-1 emergency calls, but can also transport critically ill and injured patients between hospitals.

The hospital is also in the process of purchasing a special ambulance to accommodate more on-board equipment such as EKG monitors, ventilator and IV pumps. Since the Critical Care Transport (CCT) unit may be requested as far away as Bishop, the unit will be designed with larger fuel and oxygen tanks.

“RRH purchased Liberty Ambulance to serve as a platform to expand its “Pre-Hospital” programs,” said Fred Hawkins, EMS Administrator / COO Liberty Ambulance. “The availability, variety and readiness of the EMS system operated through Liberty Ambulance will allow the hospital to send the most appropriate resource to each event. The request for service may only require a “House Call” from the EMS RN or a full EMS Team response to a motor vehicle accident.”

“There are only a handful of EMS programs in the country like this to learn from” stated Erin Cocciolone, RN. Operations Manager for Liberty Ambulance, “So networking and research is very important to our success. Our goal is to have the CCT unit in service in September”.

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