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MVRTA Unveils First Ambubus and Multi-Casualty Evacuation Bus in New England
6/10/2010-MVRTA Unveils First Ambubus and Multi-Casualty Evacuation Bus in New England
Responding to a recognized public safety need in the region, the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA) and the Northeast Homeland Security Regional Advisory Council (NERAC) have partnered to create the region’s first Ambubus and a Regional Evacuation bus, capable of assisting first responders with transporting victims and evacuees during multiple causality emergency incidents across the Northeast region.
In developing this important resource, the MVRTA utilized Department of Homeland Security grant funds obtained through NERAC to retro-fit one retired fixed-route transit bus to an Ambubus, and a second retired transit bus to become a Regional Evacuation bus. The MVRTA Ambubus is the first-of-its kind in Massachusetts and the New England area, and is believed to be the first use of a public transit bus as an Ambubus in the nation. This bus, which is not an ambulance, has a capacity of 12 stretchers and 10 non stretcher evacuees.
“These vehicles are dedicated to assist first responders in the transportation of victims and evacuees during a multi-casualty incident,” said MVRTA Administrator and the NERAC member Joe Costanzo. “With the help of NERAC and the Department of Homeland Security will be able to offer this valuable public safety resource in our region.”
According to NERAC chair and Andover Police Chief Brian Pattullo, it was the MVRTA’s innovative thinking and dedication that brought this project to life.
“Finding safe, effective transportation for multiple victims and evacuees during an emergency incident is always a challenge for public safety personnel,” explained Pattullo. “Typically first responders utilize school buses and transit buses in these types of situations, but those solutions present their own challenges in terms of making victims comfortable and keeping them safe. With these new assets, the MVRTA has helped the Northeast region address a major public safety issue and they’ve done it in a way that has not been used before.”
About the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA)
The Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority provides a variety of public transportation services in the Merrimack Valley area. For more information visit www.mvrta.com.
About the Northeast Homeland Security Regional Advisory Council (NERAC)
NERAC plans and carries out regional homeland security and emergency preparedness initiatives on behalf of 85 communities in northeaster Massachusetts with funding from EOPSS (the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and support from MAPC (The Metropolitan Area Planning Council). The Council is comprised of 16 members representing 11 emergency medical services, public health, hospitals, public safety communications, government administration, public works, regional transit and corrections. For further information, visit www.nerac.us.