News and Information

January 24, 2005

Contact: Tamara Hargens
503 494-8231

Erin Miller
Metro West, 503-648-6658

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The first custom-designed pediatric ambulance in the region features bright primary colors and fun caricatures to help Doernbecher’s frailest patients and their families feel more comfortable


WHAT: The Pediatric and Neonatal Doernbecher Transport Team (PANDA) at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital will receive the region’s first kid- and family-friendly ambulance from its vendor, Metro West, at an open house this Wednesday. The specially designed ambulance will be on display from 10 a.m. to noon. The public is invited and refreshments will be served.

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon.

WHERE: Doernbecher Children’s Hospital parking lot, Oregon Health & Science University

DETAILS: When PANDA Transport manager, Maureen O’Hara, R.N., requested a new ambulance from MetroWest because the current PANDA ambulance was showing signs of wear and tear, MetroWest representatives gave her team carte blanche to custom design a new ambulance that would be visually appealing to children. The ambulance vendor then contracted with Braun Northwest, an emergency vehicles manufacturer, to create the new design, which features smiling, colorful caricatures of children on the exterior and lively shades of red, yellow and blue on the interior.

“This one-of-a-kind ambulance is designed to be more inviting and less sterile to our pediatric patients and their families,” said O’Hara. “We are excited to be able to offer quality, specialized care in an environment that puts our acutely ill patients at ease.”

“We feel strongly that it is important to make our patients, families, and health care teams feel as comfortable as possible during an ambulance transport. This ambulance does just that and joins our fleet of state-of-the art ambulances to provide critical pre-hospital health care,” said J.D. Fuiten, owner of Metro West Ambulance.

The PANDA team comprises specially trained nurses and respiratory therapists who stabilize and monitor young patients until they reach the hospital's emergency department or intensive care units. Each year the team transports several hundred acutely ill babies and children to Doernbecher Children's Hospital from around the state; 775 children were transported in 2004.

NOTE TO EDITORS: A high-resolution photo of the ambulance’s exterior is available for downloading at Photos of the ambulance’s interior may be seen on the Braun Northwest Web site click on “Metro West Ambulance.”

The region's first ambulance custom-designed for children features bright primary colors and fun caricatures to help Doernbecher's frailest patients and their families feel more comfortable.