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Mass evacuation ambulance bus based at Sentara Virginia Beach General

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Posted at 10:31 AM, Sep 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-04 10:31:39-04

Virginia Beach, Va. – The first hospital-based ambulance bus equipped for mass casualty evacuations in Hampton Roads is now based at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.

The hospital says the former school bus is outfitted with an AmbuBus system that can accommodate up to 18 stretcher patients or 25 wheelchair or walking patients.

The 1991 International bus was purchased with $6,000 in donated hospital auxiliary funds. The AmbuBus interior system, air conditioning, upgraded electrics, boarding ramp, sirens and lights were paid for by a grant through the Hampton Roads Metropolitan Medical Response System.

The ambulance bus will serve Sentara Healthcare hospital patients and double as a regional asset, should other hospitals need evacuation assistance.

“When a disaster hits, we all work together,” says Chris Roberts, RN, Emergency Department manager at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and one of the licensed drivers. “The hospitals in Hampton Roads hold joint disaster drills with our tents and other equipment,” he adds, “so we can set up quickly and help each other in a crisis.”

The ambulance bus had its first use over Labor Day weekend, ferrying  clinical staff to the Sentara Mobile ER at the Virginia Beach oceanfront for the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon.  The bus will be housed at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.