Rural/Metro Ambulance Receives New Devices
by Betsy Jibben, Reporter
November 24, 2013 5:21 PM
Rural/Metro Ambulance responds to as many as 15,000 calls each year, providing emergency and 911 services to not only Sioux Falls but the surrounding communities. Now, two devices are making their job easier when duty calls.
It’s what some would say is an emergency room on wheels. Rural/Metro Ambulance responds to an estimated 50 calls a day
"We go on ambulance calls, 911 emergent and non-emergent calls. We also do standbys throughout the city," said Rural/Metro Parametic Katie Kruger.
Katie Kruger has been with the Rural/Metro Ambulance for four years. She says with two new devices, they’ll be able to provide even better care for their patients.
The first is called a C-Pap, also known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It's designed to help those who have shortness of breath such as someone facing an asthma attack. It keeps the airway open by providing constant pressure.
"It gives them a better turn-around time so they can breathe better and breathe faster. It’s better than us paralyzing them by putting a tube down their throat,” said Kruger.
It's been used in the ICU and the Emergency Room. Now, it can be to the patient’s bedside. Rural/Metro says the device was used just 12 hours after they received it.
“If they’re not getting enough oxygen it can turn into a big problem in a big hurry. It’s a very critical thing that we do,” said Rural/Metro Ambulance Director of Quality Assurance, Mike Deitschman.
The second is a video laryngoscope. It’s used for those that are also short of breath but are perhaps unconscious due to a stroke or traumatic event. It’s a camera they put down a person’s airway and allows them to see vocal cords.
"The video provides another option where we are able to put a camera down and visualize their airway and see where you want it to go with a camera," said Deitschman.
“We all have an airway but they are not all the exact same. Now we can see these airways better and a lot faster,” said Kruger.
One of the devices costs $35 dollars and the other is a little over $1,000. They were paid for by Rural Metro as a part of their budge for this year.
Rural/Metro Ambulance is the only licensed ambulance in Sioux Falls. They have 40 people on staff and nine ambulances at three different stations in town.