When Life Line gets asked to customize an ambulance it typically involves modifying the interior cabinets to better suit the needs of the EMS personnel who will be operating it. We had never been asked to customize the ceiling or thought about how the ceiling could help provide better patient care. This idea came from Dr. Hirschman, medical director of the critical-care transport program at Children’s Minnesota. He wanted a one-of-a-kind ceiling that would calm and entertain young patients. Although it had never been done in an ambulance before, the teams at 94 Services and Life Line were happy to work together to make it happen.
One-of-A Kind Ceiling for a One-of-A Kind Ambulance
The Children’s Minnesota Neonatal/Pediatric ambulance is an engineering marvel. The sheer size of the ambulance, along with its unique paint job, make it impossible to miss on the road. Designed specifically to transport and care for pediatric patients, the interior of the ambulance is even more impressive. The first thing you notice upon entering the ambulance are the bold, child-friendly colors and equipment. What isn’t immediately visible is the highly customized ceiling that explodes in a brilliant display of fiber optic lights that form the shape of stars, along with three sets of fireworks and shooting stars, designed to calm young patients and give them a sense of fun and wonder during highly stressful times. The lights are even equipped with a remote control, which children can use to change the ceiling pattern, if they are feeling up to it.
A Ceiling Collaboration
While Life Line was busy building out the unique interior and installing custom equipment, the second ceiling was delivered to one of our dealers, 94 Services in Monticello, MN. There, an employee who had a child treated at Children’s Minnesota years ago, felt a deep bond with this project and volunteered to undertake the meticulous task of using a Dremel to cut 1,052 holes (in one of three different sizes the fiber optic lights came in) in a precise sky pattern. Once the holes were made, fiber optics had to be wired to each hole and glued down, a painstaking process because fiber optics can be bent a little, but not much, or they will break. The end result is a magnificent ceiling that brought 1,052 lights and Children’s Minnesota vision to life.
If You Dream It, We Can Build It
This project was unlike any Life Line or 94 Services had ever worked on before. It was a true testament to our creativity and partnership with our customers and dealers to bring their vision to life. Most importantly, we’re all happy to have a role in helping to take children’s’ minds off their circumstances, while allowing medical personnel provide better care.