Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center expands ambulance bay

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Gina Duwe
Monday, June 16, 2014


What it is: Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville is adding 6,000 square feet to its ambulance bay to expand from two to five covered bays, Mercy Vice President Dave Kurtz said.

The $2.1 million project is scheduled for completion by the end of July. Magill Construction of Elkhorn is the general contractor.

Why it's needed: Since Mercy became the only area Level II trauma center in 2009, it has seen “a lot of increased traffic” in the emergency department, Kurtz said.

“That's really the driver for this particular expansion,” he said.

EMS crews are bringing more critical patients from a larger area because of the trauma capabilities, he said.

“We're seeing more and more ambulance deliveries every day,” he said.

Four to five ambulances often have arrived around the same time, he said, and last week six were there at once. In those situations, crews have to work together getting into the existing bay while others park outside and deliver patients from outside.

“They have to. In trauma, seconds count,” Kurtz said.

The addition also will help make EMS crews more efficient and make their jobs easier, he said.

The existing bay has room for two emergency vehicles at a time side-by-side, and vehicles have to back out of the garage after unloading patients.

“It's a safety factor,” Kurtz said.

Numerous times, vehicles have almost backed into each other and accidentally hit the garage doors, he said.

What's being done? The expansion is going into what use to be the circle drive in front of the ambulance bay by the emergency department.

The addition will allow up to five emergency vehicles, Kurtz said. Vehicles will come in the east door, unload patients inside and drive out the west door.

“It will be a great enhancement for the EMS crews as they're coming in, both for patient safety and safety of the crews themselves,” he said.

The drop-off area has been reconfigured during construction, so ambulances are using a temporary drop-off area under a canopy. People walking into the emergency department need to use the entrance for Mercy Clinic West.

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Last updated: 3:15 pm Monday, June 16, 2014

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