The CHET team got an infusion of three brand-
new ambulances, thanks to American Medical Response, a partner of the Hospital for more than 50 years. During the design process, AMR gained insight from the team who will be working in the ambulances and outfitted them with wireless Bluetooth headsets that enable hands- free communication between team members, solar panels that charge the vehicle and equipment, seven sizes of equipment to cater to kids of all ages and a TV to help keep patients calm during transport. They also feature technology that speeds up loading times, space for ECMO machines, which previous ambulances did not have, and a modular equipment storage system. The new ambulances will ensure that the CHET team
area—San Diego and Imperial counties, as well as southern Riverside; we serve all three of those areas,” she continues. “There is not another specialty team that has the training to do what we do. We work with all of the hospitals in the region and we have even gone to Hawaii, the Midwest, Texas, Seattle and other places outside the region.” The CHET team are ambassadors for Rady Children’s, bringing the Hospital’s exceptional reputation with them everywhere they go, whether it’s by ambulance, airplane or helicopter. “CHET started in 1973 with just ambulance transports, and it continued that way for a lot of years. We would only use the helicopter once a year, on very rare occasions,” Patrick says. “Then a few years ago we partnered with Mercy Air Services and they trained us to be crew. Now we can fly with just a pilot and our two-person team. Since then, we’ve done a lot more helicopter and fixed-wing transports—and they’ve increased over the years as traffic has increased.” In earlier years, a physician also was required to be onboard, Patrick recalls. For the past 20 years or so, however, it’s rare when a physician must be present. “Our teams are such experts at what they do,” she says. “They are able to take the sickest of the sick kids and transport them safely to our facility, providing intensive care services all along the way. Any time a kid needs oxygen or IV therapy or any higher level of care via transport, that’s when we’re called. We are able to do everything.” The CHET team is even equipped to provide ECMO, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a form of life support given to those with life-threatening heart and lung problems. Patrick says the need for ECMO has grown, as the CHET team has encountered sicker kids in need of transport. For Patrick, treating these high-acuity pediatric and neonate patients has been the most rewarding part of the job. “There have been so many stories about incredible outcomes. We get kids that are on the brink of death at another facility, we get them here safely, and they thrive,” she says. “It’s a scary job and it can be intimidating. But when you go out and get a kid that’s really sick and are able to provide care, see them get better and see them go home, it’s all worth it. I’ve always said it’s the best job in the Hospital.”
can keep delivering prompt, life-saving care for years to come.
FALL 2023 HEALTHY KIDS MAGAZINE 9
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