Taiwanese businessman designs isolation cabins for ambulances
Taipei, June 26 (CNA) On a recent day, several ambulances were parked outside a factory in the Dali district of Taichung, but the area is quiet without any sense of urgency.
Instead, a man wearing glasses oversees the installation of an airtight isolation cabin in the patient compartment of an ambulance.
The man, Johnson Yang (楊冠威), is an entrepreneur who runs Taichung-based SYT Technology Co., which produces plastics and other materials.
He decided to design a booth made of clear acrylic panels and other materials after the Taichung Fire Department, which is one of its responsibilities for emergency medical services, came to him for help in May. .
With the increase in COVID-19 cases, emergency responders were putting their lives at risk by transporting people infected with the highly infectious airborne virus.
Without a way to isolate the patient with its ambulances, the fire department relied on rather crude methods to ensure the safety of its emergency responders.
He used duct tape to try to seal the driver’s compartment of the vehicle, and the medical staff in the patient compartment with patients felt even less protected, even with a face mask and other protective gear. individual. The fire department also needed around two hours to disinfect its ambulances after each run with a patient.
To address these issues, Yang decided to design an isolation cabin that separates a person suspected of having COVID-19 from paramedics in an ambulance, but which would still allow them to monitor the patient’s condition.
He admitted that finding a viable solution was much more difficult than he had imagined.
It took Yang four days to develop a prototype for the isolation cabin and perform tests to make sure it worked. Personalization was necessary because interior designs of ambulances vary, Yang said.
He also blew thick smoke into the cabin to see if there were any gas leaks. It was a way to ensure that potential viruses could not leak from the cabin to other parts of the ambulance, Yang said.
The result, he said, is that the isolation booths not only prevent viruses from spreading in an ambulance, but also make it easier to disinfect the vehicle.
With the isolation cabin installed in the ambulance, it now only takes around 10 minutes for firefighters to disinfect the cabin after each trip, Yang said.
The isolation cabin, however, only allows people to sit down and is not suitable for people who need to lie down on a cot and be cared for by medical personnel.
Still, they can come in handy, and Yang has so far built nearly 20 of his devices, all free, for ambulances run by the Taichung Fire Departments as well as Miaoli and Nantou Counties.
Expressing why he did it, Yang, who has been a member of the Taichung Volunteer Fire Department for a decade, said he wanted to help with the country’s disease control efforts.
Yang has volunteered less in recent years due to his busy work schedule, but his passion for helping firefighters and paramedics has not faded, symbolized by the row of miniature ambulance models displayed in his office.
“The people involved in the fire department are like family,” Yang said.
Yang did not disclose how much it cost to build an isolation cabin, but said he received donations from friends and strangers who appreciated his work.
The donations have “made my hard work worthwhile and warmed my heart,” said Yang, expressing hope that Taiwan will soon overcome the current challenge it faces in the face of COVID-19 with everyone helping out as it does. can.