January 24, 2018

Your Radiothon Donations in Action: The Pediatric Ambulance’s First Year

It’s among the most recognizable vehicles on Saskatchewan’s roads. Since its first departure in September 2016, the Pediatric Ambulance has marked a new era in Saskatchewan, delivering the urgent emergency services that keep kids alive thanks to the generous support of Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Radiothon donors and community partners.

Funded 100% by donations, the precision ambulance is outfitted with advanced equipment and high tech materials. It was all made possible following the 2016 Children’s Hospital Radiothon in Saskatoon when over $100,000 was gifted from Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation towards the launch of the new “hospital-on-wheels” with donations matched by the Sandra Schmirler Foundation. The remaining balance was raised through Synergy 8 Community Builder’s fundraising efforts, bringing numerous other partners on board, including SIGA, Graham & Ruby DaLaet Foundation and Mosaic.

“The support from our generous Radiothon supporters and community partners who share our vision has helped make this special ambulance a reality in our province,” says Brynn Boback-Lane, President and CEO of Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation. “This much-needed piece of pediatric equipment makes all the difference in a sick or injured child’s scary commute to the hospital. Thank you Saskatchewan, for providing a ‘children’s hospital-on-wheels’; it’s been lifesaving to so many.”

In the first full year on the road for the Pediatric Ambulance in 2017, it saw almost 50,000 kilometres travelled en route to pick up 152 sick and injured children over the course of the year. Aside from trips to many remote communities travelled to across the province, 51 of those trips were to Prince Albert, 28 to North Battleford, 10 to Humboldt and six to Regina and Biggar. With the new unit, bringing a full hospital room to a young patient is now a possibility, regardless of where the child is located. In addition, it allows for two children to be transported at the same time with space for parents to come along, ensuring that families are always together when a child has a health emergency.

“The Pediatric Ambulance is equipped with two 90 litre diesel tanks. This ensures that the vehicle can transfer patients anywhere in the province without refuelling until after the call is complete,” says Troy Davies of Medavie Health Services West.

The pediatric unit replaces a previous model which hit the road in 1999. Designed from a child’s perspective and packed with cutting-edge technology, the new and upgraded ambulance features state-of-the-art methods in pediatric care as a way of ensuring every child in transport has a safe and comfortable shuttle, including a 28-inch DVD flat screen and soft blue lighting for extra added peace-of-mind. To serve the critical transport needs beyond the interior, the freightliner semi ambulance is heavier to help with icy conditions and is complete with infrared night vision to detect wildlife with warning alarms.

“The unit is designed around safety, fuel efficiency and longevity,” explains Davies. “Thanks to the donations from the 2016 Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Radiothon, children are being transported safely from across the province.”

With introduction of the Pediatric Ambulance onto Saskatchewan roads, the proper equipment and technology is now in place to extend across the outermost areas of the province, delivering the best possible care closer to home.

To support the 2018 Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Radiothon, call 1-888-808-KIDS (5437) or start your own fundraising page at https://pattisonchildrens.ca/p/jim-pattison-childrens-hospital-radiothon/

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