NETS operate a fleet of custom built ambulance vehicles which allow travel to hospitals throughout New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Our mission is to bring intensive care staff and equipment to the bedside of sick or injured babies and children.
Until March 2006, NSW Ambulance assisted NETS by providing drivers and ambulances. Since this time however, NETS has been fully responsible for road ambulance transport,ensuring that our fleet is able to cope with the ever growing demands of our community. Having our own emergency vehicles maintains availability of the regular ambulance fleet to respond to emergencies outside of hospitals and bring patients rapidly to emergency departments for medical care.
The NETS' fleet uses a combination of Mercedes Benz 315 CDI and 416 CDI long wheel base, high roof top Sprinters. Traditionally, Sprinters (short and long wheel base) have been used as Ambulances across all state and territory services within Australia.
These long wheel base vehicles can accommodate both types NETS life support systems; one loading from the rear like a regular ambulance (infants and children > 5 kg) and the other loading through the onside side sliding door (neBorns and infants up to 6 kg.
This allows NETS to carry life support equipment for a baby or infant and an older child simultaneously. The flexibility of being able to load either system allows NETS to have a standard vehicle design and layout without the need for a specific vehicle design for each of the two different life support systems. This allows for a more compact and efficient fleet of ambulances. The ambulance can carry on stretcher adapted to carry an care support system for less sick infants; used for the return transport service and some nurse-led emergency transfers where the baby requires immediate transfer for urgent care but is not yet requiring life suppport.
Comparatively, NETS ambulances are larger than traditional ambulances in Australia. This is to allow for additional staff (e.g. for training or particularly complex cases requiring extra skills) and larger supplies of medical oxygen and medical air. It also provides a guarantee that a child is not separated from their parent during the journey to hospital, if desired. The extended roof height allows for clinicians to be standing upright when providing treatment in a stationary vehicle.
The van designs of the ambulances with windows on all sides provides good visual contact with the outside world for clinical teams. This is particularly helpful for the relatively long distances travelled by NETS teams, who have excellent forward view and contact with the visual horizon.
NETS ambulances all have a distinctive colour scheme and design (livery) to increase the level of vehicle safety and further minimise the risk of accident or injury to our staff, patients or other members of the public. Emergency warning devices (lights and sirens) are also fitted to operational vehicles to assist in alerting other road users when NETS are attending an emergency situation.
NETS ambulances are registered and operated in the ambulance category. The vehicles are fitted with:
NETS also operate a small number of rapid response vehicles which can be utilised in support of ambulance vehicles. These vehicles by senior NETS staff to support the NETS team during complex missions and are also used to urgently transport equipment and/or specialist doctors such as surgeons to perform emergency surgery prior to the NETS team transporting the patient.
- Two way radio - operating on the Government Radio Network (GRN)
- GPS navigation
- Satellite tracking
- Suction units
- - Vehicle based oxygen driven
- - Portable Laerdal electric suction
- Medical gases for long range missions; oxygen (4,500L) and air (4,500L)
- Stryker PowerLoad Pro
- NETS electric life support trolley
- 'In Ambulance Vision for Life' - Allowing live streaming from patient compartment to NETS coordinating nurse and medical consultant
- Transilluminator holder/recharger
- Storage for medical retrieval kits