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Neonatal Transport Team debuts a new Angel

Jul. 12, 2012, 9:42 AM

Jerry Ballhagen, EMT, and Amanda Whitlock, R.N., BSN, show off the Neonatal Transport Team’s new ambulance, dubbed Angel 3. (photo by Daniel Dubois)

The Neonatal Transport Team at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has added a new ambulance to its fleet.

Dubbed “Angel 3,” the new ambulance is the fourth ground vehicle in the fleet. It dons a new graphic design, made possible under a 2010 revision to Tennessee rules and regulations pertaining to state ambulances.

Previous rules mandated ambulances to be solid white with an orange stripe. “Angel 3” sports blue and red trim on a white background along with the Children’s Hospital logo.

The team is busy changing the scheme and color design of its other three ambulances. Under the new rules, once a design change has been implemented the rest of the fleet must be updated within a year. LifeFlight began altering its look last summer.

“Angel 3” replaced another ambulance, called “Cherub,” an aging ambulance retired a little more than a year ago. The new model has a Freightliner chassis with an ambulance body and specifications manufactured by Osage Ambulances.

It is roomier, has upgraded equipment, a broadband communications system, temperature controls, the latest technology and more to ensure the safety of the patients and the transport team.

Twenty-four hours a day, two teams are ready to serve, offering the highest level of expertise and specialized care for ill and premature patients around the region.

“Everything we need to take care of a critically ill infant can be found in this ambulance, with a critical care team to provide specialized neonatal intensive care,” said Jerry Ballhagen, EMT, manager of the Neonatal Transport Team. “With this unit, we can bring the NICU team and specialized care to the babies.”

The team also focuses on the family and provides ongoing communication to the family as the baby transitions to a higher level of care.

The Transport Team averages about 70 transports a month, serving more than 37 counties in the region.

The first neonatal transport, a retrofitted bread truck christened “Angel,” made its first voyage in August 1974.

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