December 6, 2011 - 3:48pmUpdated: December 6, 2011 - 4:50pm
(L to R):Bill Doyle of PotashCorp, Ken Luciak with RQHR and Jason Ligett with Ministry of Health talk about new neonatal ambulance in Regina on Dec. 6, 2011. Karin Yeske/News Talk Radio
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It's a state-of-the-art ambulance to keep newborn babies in southern Saskatchewan safe.
The Hospitals of Regina Foundation and the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region unveiled the new neonatal ambulance on Tuesday in Regina.
Ken Luciak is the director of EMS with the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region. He says the ambulance, which is the first of its kind in Canada, has many features including an infrared camera.
“The infrared camera is mounted on the hood of the vehicle. What it does is it is able to look down the highway and it can actually see heat signatures emitted by people walking alongside the highway or by deer or moose,” said Luciak.
The ambulance also includes a built-in 4.5-kilowatt generator that can be used in the event of a power failure. It can transport two babies at once and monitor their vital signs while keeping them in a controlled environment. It has the latest technology—including stretchers, radios and a hydraulic lift to move the babies in and out of the vehicle.
It’s also designed to keep travel safer on Saskatchewan roads in winter conditions.
“It makes it safer when dealing with poor weather conditions. It raises our visibility above blowing snow and it’s better if we should have an unfortunate deer strike or moose strike,” said Luciak.
Bill Doyle, the CEO and president of PotashCorp, says it will help rural communties rest easy.
"When a child needs medical attention, every second counts and the last thing you should worry about is where you live," he said.
Last spring, PotashCorp donated $350,000 to fund the ambulance.
Every year, the RQHR’s neonatal transport team carries about 60 to 70 at-risk babies to the Regina General Hospital. That’s covering an area of about 26,663 square kilometres in southern Saskatchewan.