Daimler buses has converted a Citaro intercity bus into a high capacity intensive care ambulance for use in the city of Ulm/ Neu Ulm. The ambulance has now been loaned to the German Red Cross Emergency Medical Services Heidenheim-Ulm for a period of six months. This ambulance is based on the Daimler Benz Citaro bus. It can transport four patients with full intensive care support. The ICU doctor is provided by Ulm’s University Hospital while the paramedics are from the German Red Cross.

Image Courtesy Daimler Bus

With the increasing spread of the COVID19, it was felt that there may be a requirement to shift patients in a serious condition from one hospital to another. This needed a large ambulance which could carry several patients along with the ICU machinery quickly. The idea to convert a large bus into and ambulance originated with David Richter, Managing Director of German Red Cross Emergency Medical Services Heidenheim-Ulm.

The idea was floated to the Daimler Buses factory in Neu Ulm and it was decided to convert a Citaro inter city bus for the purpose. The chosen bus was manufactured in 2019. A group of 12 technicians at the Daimler Bus plant converted the 45 seater bus into an ambulance in 15 days. The ambulance can carry four patients, two ICU doctors, hree paramedics and two ambulance officers in addition to the driver. The ambulance is installed with various life support equipment required to safely transport the patients. It has been installed with four complete intensive care beds, four intensive care ventilators, four monitoring screens, a sonography unit and a blood gas analysis device.

Image Courtesy Daimler Bus

The ambulance has been provided with an inbuilt disinfectant system to disinfect it after the patients have been transported. Daimler Buses also created stowage space for sufficient medicines, nursing equipment, additional breathing apparatus and protective clothing. The drivers compartment has been completely isolated from the ambulance and even has a separate ventilation system. Thus completely protecting the driver. The driver and maintenance depot for the ambulance is being provided by the transport company SWU Stadtwerke Ulm/Neu-Ulm.

These ambulances can be used not only for transporting patients within the city, but can also be used to transport patients to other hospitals in the region and even in case of interstate transfers. A similar initiative has been taken on a much larger scale by the SNCF, where they are using TGV trains for transporting patients across France.