SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A pair of local ambulance services now have vehicles specifically designed to transport COVID-19 patients.
Medstar and Patient Care have each been selected by the state of South Dakota to help battle COVID-19.
“This vehicle right here is a vehicle we’re putting online making it specifically to transport the coronavirus patients in,” Medstar owner Jay Masur said.
“We’re setting aside an ambulance specifically for long distance, long patient contact in our facility transport, so that’s patients from hospitals to other hospitals who are already known to be COVID positive,” Patient Care EMS COO Michael Bureau said.
Once those patients arrive at their destination, crews go to work to help eliminate the spread of coronavirus.
“This may be a suspected patient that we have in the back of our truck, so if they’re suspected but actually don’t have it we don’t want to give it to them. So each and every time there’s a patient transported in this vehicle, this vehicle will get a 100% desterilization and get ready for the next patient,” Masur said.
“What we’ve added to it now is to assure that our cleaning products are approved by the CDC and the EPA to be used for COVID-19,” Bureau said.
Masur says they’ve also modified the design of the ambulance to protect the driver.
“Normally in the ambulance, there’s a pass-through from the driver’s seat to the back, but we’re closing all that off so the front will have no exposure to the back of the ambulance here,” Masur said.
If the virus continues to spread, local ambulance crews will be ready.
“If the need arises and people need to be transported, we’ll put a second and a third online if we have to to get these people where they have to go to get treated,” Masur said.
Masur says it’s like putting together a brand new truck, but the ambulance will be ready to use by Wednesday.