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Improving Emergency Response for a Leader in Emergency Medicine

Quick Facts

Company

Acadian Ambulance Service
acadianambulance.com

Customer Profile

Acadian Ambulance Service operates 500 ambulances and transports more than 1,800 patients every day across its vast and diverse service footprint that includes urban and suburban areas, the remote swamps of Louisiana’s bayou, and offshore oil rigs in the open Gulf of Mexico. Acadian has dispatch centers in Lafayette (Louisiana), as well as  Beaumont and Austin (Texas). 

Objectives
  • Private analog radio network with limited capacity
  • Slow dispatch communications caused slow response
  • Unreliable cellular coverage in rural areas
  • Cellular equipment frequently damaged in demanding environments
Results
  • Dispatches, emergency communications and patient information are transmitted and received instantaneously and reliably, even in dead zones, speeding response times
  • Network congestion and bandwidth limitations no longer hinder emergency communications
  • Secure, worry-free connectivity for all the data and communications gear employed in Acadian units
Sierra Wireless Products & Services
  • AirLink mobile routers provide secure, instant and reliable communications
  • AirLink Mobility Manager (AMM) enables HQ staff to monitor and manage operations in real time using a virtual dashboard

Introduction

To serve one of the most disaster-prone areas of the U.S., Acadian crews must have the training and technology to deal with a variety of emergencies – ranging from routine illnesses and accidents to mass casualty incidents – and has been recognized as a leader in emergency medicine nationwide.

Challenge

Acadian’s sprawling footprint poses many communications and management challenges for first responders. For years, Acadian relied on a private analog radio network to communicate with units in the field. But as the company grew and deployed increasingly sophisticated and bandwidth-intensive dispatch systems and on-board medical devices, Acadian needed a mobile communications solution with greater capabilities and reliability. 

Dispatches and emergency communications often took two minutes to be received. This delay slowed responses, hindered operations and limited Acadian’s ability to deploy the latest technologies in its fleet. 

To augment its private network, the company used commercial cellular services. However, cellular coverage is unreliable in parts of rural Louisiana, and cellular air cards and modems were frequently damaged from use in demanding emergency environments.

Acadian needed a single mobile network solution that would enable:

  • Use of the best available wireless network in any given area – and seamless roaming across networks as units transported patients across the Gulf Coast.
  • Deployment of the latest dispatch, communications, management and patient care technologies.
  • Confidence that communications gear would withstand the rigors of emergency services and disaster responses.
  • Easy upgrades of on-board technology. Acadian is committed to remaining at the forefront of emergency medical technology, and a mobile communications solution that would enable deployment of the latest patient care equipment was required.

Everyone at Acadian is excited about how this technology has improved the service we provide to the community. It enables our medics to focus on their mission – saving lives – and not whether our communications are going through.

Kenny Logan
Director of Electronic Technology, Acadian Ambulance Service

Solution

In January 2008, Acadian piloted three AirLink mobile routers. Crews saw immediate and dramatic results. Dispatches, emergency communications and patient information were transmitted and received instantaneously and reliably. Network congestion, dead zones and bandwidth limitations no longer hindered emergency communications.

The router provided secure, worry-free connectivity for data and communications gear deployed in Acadian units, including dispatch systems by Tritech, driver and vehicle monitoring technology by Road Safety, LIFEPAK 12 monitors by Physio Control, and Panasonic Toughbooks. Soon after the trial, Acadian ordered and installed 250 routers in ambulances throughout its fleet.

Results

Improved management of communications, vehicles and devices

To enable headquarters staff to monitor and manage operations in real time, Acadian deployed the AMM, which collects and analyzes information from each vehicle in the field to provide headquarters staff with a virtual dashboard of detailed information about networks, vehicles and devices.

Lifesaving results

Since deploying the solution, Acadian has seen significant improvement in emergency communications and operations. “Everyone at Acadian is excited about how this technology has improved the service we provide to the community,” says Kenny Logan, Director of Electronic Technology for Acadian. “The solution enables our medics to focus on their mission – saving lives – and not whether our communications are going through.” When an router-equipped Acadian Ambulance receives a call, it receives instantaneous computer aided dispatch information through the device; it takes the fastest, satellite-guided route to and from the scene; critical driver and vehicle information is monitored in real time by operations command, and patient information is wirelessly transmitted to the ER in advance of arrival. The solution provides critical data to emergency personnel at the speed necessary to save lives. “Although this technology has already improved our communications and operations dramatically, we are exploring a variety of other applications that it will enable us to deploy in the future,” said Kenny Logan. “Acadian is exploring mobile video, VoIP, vehicle tracking and telemetry, asset and inventory tracking and other features.”

Related Products

Tagged Industries
Public Safety
Client

Acadian Ambulance Service

Location

NAM
United States

Markets

First Responders
Public Safety

Products & Service​

AirLink Routers MG90
AirLink Mobility Manager (AMM)

Contact Us

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By checking this box, you consent to receive commercial electronic messages from Sierra Wireless, Inc. and Sierra Wireless group of companies such as newsletters, event invitations, promotional and educational content, product updates, transaction-related emails, and customer service emails, in accordance with our privacy policy. We may be reached by email at connect@sierrawireless.com or by mail: contact us. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
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By checking this box, you consent to receive commercial electronic messages from Sierra Wireless, Inc. and Sierra Wireless group companies such as newsletters, event invitations, promotional and educational content, product updates, transaction-related emails, and customer service emails, in accordance with our privacy policy. We may be reached by email at connect@sierrawireless.com or by mail: contact us. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
By checking this box, you consent to receive commercial electronic messages from Sierra Wireless, Inc. and Sierra Wireless group of companies such as newsletters, event invitations, promotional and educational content, product updates, transaction-related emails, and customer service emails, in accordance with our privacy policy. We may be reached by email at connect@sierrawireless.com or by mail: contact us. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
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