A Strategic Initiative to Impact Community Safety

by Kyle Gehling
Advanced Medical Transport

AMT’S “All-Safe” efforts are having a significant impact.

Healthcare has changed drastically since Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) was founded 26 years ago, but one thing has remained consistent: its commitment to safety. As downstate Illinois’ only nationally accredited ambulance company, AMT prides itself in its “All-Safe” initiative, which leverages technology, education and training to promote the safety of the entire community. AMT firmly believes that increasing community awareness and education is the single best way to ensure the safety of the places we live and work.

Reinforcing Vehicle Safety
AMT’s commitment to safety is directly exemplified through its investment in safer ambulances. According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), ambulances are involved in approximately 4,500 accidents per year. Of these accidents, about 2,600 people are injured. In attempts to combat these dangerous statistics, AMT became the first ambulance agency in the country to build “concept trucks,” which are safer for patients, providers and other motorists.

AMT’s “concept trucks” are outfitted with more than 76 different safety standards, both inside and outside the ambulance. Outside, the trucks are painted in a reflective block style to increase visibility. “Rumblers” run with the sirens so motorists can feel and hear sound vibrations coming from the ambulance. Inside, swivel seats were installed so providers can be secured at all times while providing patient care. Each truck acts as an independent wi-fi hotspot to ensure communications are never lost with dispatchers and hospitals. In addition, solar panels installed on each truck lower idle times and vehicle emissions.

To further reinforce vehicle safety, AMT has installed ZOLL Road Safety units in every ambulance. Much like an electronic co-pilot, Road Safety measures multiple inputs including speed, braking and g-forces on turns. If a driver, for example, is applying brakes too harshly, taking turns too severely or exceeding pre-determined speed limits, audible tones will alert him or her to take corrective action.

AMT has Road Safety units installed in 44 ambulances. Every month, a score is generated for each provider which grades driving behavior. Since the implementation of ZOLL Road Safety in 2015, the average driver score has increased by 85 percent, promoting a safe driving culture within the company.

A Community-Wide Lifesaving Team
Additionally, AMT invests in community safety through its “Race To The Top” and “CardioReviver” programs. Beginning in 2014, AMT launched Race To The Top—a strategic, evidence-based program intended to improve outcomes for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) patients in central Illinois. Race To The Top focuses on bringing together the entire community as a team of lifesavers in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.

As part of this initiative, AMT adopted a community outreach strategy that supports bystander CPR training and automated external defibrillator (AED) utilization. Since the program’s inception, approximately 8,500 individuals have been trained in hands-only CPR at hundreds of community events. AMT has also donated over 700 AEDs to local businesses, churches and community centers.

In conjunction with the Race To The Top and CardioReviver programs, AMT introduced the PulsePoint mobile application in 2016. This application alerts individuals who are trained in bystander CPR and in the immediate vicinity of a public SCA, notifying these citizen responders of the location of the closest public AED. To date, 1,355 individuals have the application set to receive SCA alerts.

Vehicle safety and community response to sudden cardiac arrests are two facets of AMT’s strategy to support its vision of safer communities in which they operate. iBi

Kyle Gehling is patient advocate coordinator at Advanced Medical Transport. To learn more about AMT’s “All-Safe” strategic initiative, contact him at (309) 999-4060.

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