Pa. hospital EMS receives $100K grant to fund special response ambulance bus

The UPMC Susquehanna special response vehicle was used for the first time Monday to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to seniors

By Laura French

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — A Pennsylvania hospital EMS received a $100,000 grant to fund a special response vehicle that can be used for evacuations, mobile clinics and other operations. 

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Susquehanna/Susquehanna Regional EMS special response vehicle can be used as an ambulance bus to transport up to 15 non-ambulatory patients, 10 wheelchair or stretcher patients and five crewmembers for evacuations or mass-casualty incidents, UPMC Susquehanna Manager of Emergency Preparedness Jim Slotterback told the Williamsport Sun-Gazette.

Photo/UPMC Susquehanna

It can also be used for mobile clinics, vaccination drives, screening appointments and on-site preparedness at large events and mass gatherings, according to Susquehanna Health Foundation Vice President Sherry Watts. The vehicle was used for the first time on Monday to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to senior residents at a high-rise facility. 

The special response vehicle is funded through a $100,000 grant from the PPL Foundation, which aims to sustain and strengthen Pennsylvania communities through initiatives including emergency and disaster preparedness, according to the foundation website. 

UPMC Susquehanna officials said they hope to eventually add solar panels, an awning, remote monitoring and WiFi connection to the vehicle. The vehicle will mostly be used by Susquehanna Regional EMS personnel but will also be available to UPMC Williamsport staff. 


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