Stuttgart/Neu-Ulm. Rettungsdienst Heidenheim-Ulm gGmbH, part of the German Red Cross (DRK), relies on a converted Setra intercity bus in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The S 415 LE business model of the Setra MultiClass is used as a high-capacity intensive care ambulance for transporting COVID-19 patients. Axel Stokinger, Head of Sales for the German market, handed over the special vehicle to David Richter, Managing Director of the DRK rescue service in Heidenheim-Ulm, on May 18, 2021 in the presence of Till Oberwörder, Head of Daimler Buses, and Manfred Lucha, Minister for Social Affairs, Health and Integration for the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Conversion to an intensive care ambulance in just six weeks
The 12.3-metre-long low-floor bus was converted by a team of specialists in just six weeks at the Daimler Buses plant in Neu-Ulm. The special vehicle was kitted out specifically for its new role with four fully-equipped intensive care beds. With this vehicle, the German Red Cross in Ulm will be able to react rapidly and transport intensive care patients to other hospitals as required. On-board the high-capacity intensive care vehicle, there will be intensive care doctors as well as emergency paramedics and emergency medical technicians from the Rettungsdienst Heidenheim-Ulm gGmbH arm of the German Red Cross.
Professional medical equipment in the special vehicle
Previously a demonstration vehicle with 43 seats, the bus was converted to accommodate four electrohydraulic wheeled stretchers with loading mechanism. Equally on-board are four intensive care ventilators, four observation monitors, an ultrasound device and a blood gas analyser. Thanks to this equipment, various patient positions are possible during their transport. Together with the Daimler Buses development area, the production staff were able to include seats for seven accompanying passengers, as well as ensuring the greatest possible amount of stowage space for sufficient medicines and tools, as well as additional oxygen devices and protective clothing to be carried on-board. In order to guarantee optimum cleaning and disinfection of the interior, the bus is equipped with a specially-coated flat floor. The S 415 LE business has blue lights and a siren system, not to mention side windows with a privacy film covering.
Additional protection for the driver and accompanying persons
Besides the efficient installation of state-of-the-art equipment, the implementation of a comprehensive range of hygiene measures also played a decisive role in this vehicle conversion. For example, a disinfectant mist sprayer can be used in the patient compartment once transportation is completed. The area for the driver and additional accompanying persons is separated from the patient compartment by means of a hermetically sealed wall and the ventilation system was also appropriately modified to enable this configuration. The high-capacity intensive care ambulance is primarily available to the intensive care transport system within the state of Baden-Württemberg, but can also be used for cross-regional and cross-state operations.
In the fight against COVID-19: special vehicles from the Neu-Ulm plant
At the Daimler Buses Neu-Ulm location, the company converted its first high-capacity intensive care ambulance in April 2020, albeit then on the basis of a Mercedes-Benz Citaro. In November 2020 came the next special conversion: a Setra S 416 LE business intercity bus was converted in just four weeks into a mobile COVID-19 testing station for Huber Group Holding SE. Then in the spring of 2021, the first vaccination bus was created on the basis of an S 415 LE business model of the Setra MultiClass series. This current high-capacity intensive care ambulance is thus the fourth special vehicle to leave the Daimler Buses Neu-Ulm plant. Two further mobile vaccination buses are currently also in the process of being converted.