Company Who Transported Ebola Patients Was Prepared - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Continuing coverage of the Ebola virus in Dallas

Company Who Transported Ebola Patients Was Prepared

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Friday, Oct. 17, 2014)

    Officials with the company responsible for transporting two Dallas nurses who tested positive for Ebola said they were prepared to handle this situation.

    American Medical Response Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ed Racht said they have always been prepared for such situations and continue to prepare for similar situations in the future.

    The same three paramedics used the same ambulance to transport Ebola patients Nina Pham and Amber Vinson to limit exposure, Racht said. The paramedics are self monitoring for the next 21 days, but they are allowed to work.

    "We don't have to go visit the employees,” Racht said. “It's a computerized system that allows us to have the employee put their temperature in and answers a serious of questions, and it goes into a command center, and then 24/7 will alert the physicians if any of those employees have anything that identifies as an indicator."

    Racht said they had to cover the entire patient area of the ambulance with plastic.

    "This entire process of preparing for moving a patient, of getting the patient from the hospital to the airport and then the decontaminating the ambulance and the providers took about nine hours," he said.

    The protocol AMR follows for Ebola is the same they would use for any other similar virus, according to Racht. He said he's confident that his employees will be safe if they adhere to guidelines.

    AMR is the largest ambulance service provider in the United States.