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UPMC Passavant Introduces Advanced Mobile Emergency Response Unit

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Karen Beardsley
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Rick Pietzak
Project Director, Crisis Communications

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PITTSBURGHUPMC Passavant will launch a unique, advanced response unit (ARU) to assist local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel throughout the surrounding communities. The ARU is a sport-utility vehicle equipped with emergency medical equipment and staffed with certified advanced care providers trained to respond in various mutual-aid situations requiring extra personnel. The ARU will be dispatched through the 9-1-1 emergency communications system and will begin service on August 30th. 


UPMC consulted with local EMS leaders to establish a collaborative effort for emergency services in the region, addressing a need for additional support.


“Mutual-aid calls can strain EMS resources, taking a crew out of service to assist. We saw a need and an opportunity to help our EMS partners,” said Susan Hoolahan, president, UPMC Passavant. “By reorganizing some of our own elite resources, we can provide a significant and much needed benefit in the communities we serve.” 


Unlike similar programs in the region, the ARU will be staffed by several types of advanced care providers, including highly trained and experienced paramedics, pre-hospital registered nurses with intensive care and emergency experience, and STAT MedEvac flight nurses and paramedics. The ARU also will be dispatched to critical-care incidents and for high-acuity patients with challenging medical conditions and unpredictable needs. 


“The advanced care background of our ARU crew really offers a unique ability to provide clinical expertise and on-scene assistance,” said Elizabeth Tedesco, D.N.P., R.N., director of emergency services, UPMC Passavant. “The team will be especially helpful for high-level calls.”


UPMC Passavant’s ARU will serve the communities of Cranberry, McCandless, Seven Fields, Mars, Zelienople, Jackson Township and Harmony, as well as eastern Beaver and northern Allegheny counties, and will be stationed in Cranberry.